What is ‘Threads’ and Why is It Hitting the World Like a Storm?

July 12, 2023

Contributor: Magello Fenis | Editor: Supriyono

Threads, Instagram's newly launched social media platform, is hitting the world like a storm as it has achieved an astounding milestone by amassing 100 million users within only five days since its official launch, surpassing the previous record held by the AI chatbot ChatGPT for its rapid acquisition of users.

In response to this exceptional feat, the following questions are raised: ‘What is ‘Threads’ actually?’ and ‘Why is it gaining a sudden explosion of fame among the other social network platforms?’

Developed by Meta's Instagram division, Threads is an application that allows users to exchange text updates and join public discussions. Its notable initial success can be attributed to its user-friendly nature. Getting started with Threads is as simple as downloading the app from either the App Store (for iOS) or the Google Play Store (for Android) and signing in using your Instagram account.

While already praised for its user-friendly nature, it is clear thatThreads has been developed to directly compete with Twitter, the already-existing platform with similar features. This was admitted by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg following the launch of the app.

"It'll take some time, but I think there should be a public conversations app with 1 billion+ people on it. Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn't nailed it. Hopefully, we will," Meta CEO wrote in one of his initial posts in Threads.

Moreover, the platform also aims to be a “safe space” by enforcing strict community guidelines on content moderation and providing users with customizable privacy settings, blocking or muting options, and reporting abusive behavior.

That being said, the Threads user interface is too simple at this juncture. You can only see the home, search, new thread, activity and profile at the bottom side of your phone screen. While it is considered a Twitter clone, it still resembles Instagram’s signature design with the same heart, comment and share buttons.

Like other social media applications, Threads is expected to undergo future interface updates to adapt to changing user needs and preferences. The positive aspect is that app developers actively engage with the users and value their feedback.

Following these recent events, business tycoon Twitter CEO Elon Musk has expressed his intention to file legal actions against Meta over Threads. Musk alleges that Meta has hired former employees and infringed upon intellectual property rights.

Recently, Twitter users have shown their dismay after the app implemented daily limits on the number of tweets users can read daily. The decision was placed to “address extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation” according to Musk.

Twitter is currently the leading application offering real-time news and live reactions as they happen, and only time will reveal if Threads can deliver the knockout punch needed to claim that title.