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Threads’ Fatal Flaw: Why It’s Being Left Behind


Threads: Meta’s Desperate Attempt to Oust Twitter from the Social Media Throne

As Threads, Meta’s Twitter alternative, celebrates its first birthday with a whopping 175 million monthly active users, it’s clear that the company is scrambling to find its own identity. But instead of embracing its uniqueness, Threads is trying to play it safe by being neither too newsy like Twitter nor too open like Mastodon or Bluesky. How quaint.

Over the past year, the Threads team has been shipping features at a breakneck pace, from multiple profiles to a web app and Tweetdeck-like interface on the desktop. They’ve even introduced trending topics in the US and custom controls for mute and quote replies. But is it too little, too late?

The biggest problem with Threads is its lack of autonomy. It’s still deeply integrated with Instagram, which means users can’t create a separate profile or even DM people unless they’re connected to their Instagram account. How convenient for Meta to control the narrative.

But what about user data? Threads’ API is only available to developers, which means third-party apps can’t consume the platform. This is a clear attempt to stifle innovation and control the flow of information. Remember when social networks used to be open and welcoming? Ah, those were the days.

Threads’ rivals, like Bluesky and Mastodon, have fostered an ecosystem where third-party developers can create their own clients. It’s unclear if Threads will follow suit, but it would be nice to see some openness and transparency from the company.

The elephant in the room is, of course, politics. Threads has taken a stance against promoting or amplifying news and political content, but it’s only a matter of time before political topics start surfacing in trending topics. Will the company be able to handle the extremities without suppressing news? Only time will tell.

And what about the "For You" algorithm? Let’s just say it’s a hot mess. Users have reported seeing bizarre posts on their feeds that seem out of their interest sphere. More recently, I’ve been seeing posts about people asking "Where are you from?" and talking about how single life or dating is hard. I’m not sure what I did to trigger this, but Threads needs to work on making the algorithm more palatable.

In conclusion, Threads is a lukewarm attempt to oust Twitter from the social media throne. But instead of embracing its uniqueness, it’s trying to play it safe by being neither too newsy nor too open. The result is a platform that’s more of the same, without any real innovation or autonomy. If Meta wants to beat Twitter, it needs to take a bold step and challenge the status quo. But for now, Threads is just a me-too platform with a bunch of features that don’t add up to much.



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