Be still, my heart. No matter how much FOMO you feel, do not burden me with another social network.
Yet, resisting the latest fad app is proving tougher than I thought. Meta (a.k.a. Facebook) is being uncharacteristically smooth in its launch strategy for Threads, the millionth Twitter clone and current number-one app in Apple’s app store.
Already, the ad giant is weaving Threads marketing into Instagram. On the notifications screen where I normally see dopamine-inducing likes, Instagram says, “____, ____ and 1 other posted on Threads for the first time.” [cue: that meme of Arthur’s Fist]
Are we not tired of this? Haven’t we, the terminally online, complained about Twitter for years? Do we need a more boring version of the app? As I ask myself these questions, I can hear the buzz. Folks in my orbit really are talking about Threads.
On my way to see an allergist yesterday, I scanned the radio and heard a DJ mention the app on air. They said something like, “Everyone’s joining Threads. It’s like the first day of school over there and everyone’s showing off their best jokes. But if you ever want to delete your Threads account, you’ll also have to delete your Instagram.”
Earlier in the day, as my co-workers dished in Slack, resident social expert Natalie Christman emerged to say that us reporters can share our Threads usernames with her if we’d like to be tagged on the app. In a separate friend-group Slack, Threads came up several times. I tuned it out at first, but in writing this post, I returned to see what they said. “Should I sign up for Threads for the inevitable $2 class action settlement,” one friend joked.
I have funny friends. Is “@harri” available? No, be strong.
At a rehearsal later (I’m in a band), our bassist said she joined Threads and is racking up followers. Our singer said she wouldn’t join because she is “becoming a boomer.” I chirped that I would never — then I encouraged our bassist to make the band a Threads.
Inside, I started bargaining. It wouldn’t be the worst thing if I joined. If history repeats itself, I’ll fall off with everyone else in a few weeks.
I don’t have much to lose nor gain. Threads isn’t breaking new ground, and it seems like a privacy nightmare next to the other Twitter clone, Bluesky. But after giving the latter service a fair shot, I think it’s safe to say the new-app smell has faded.
I still use Twitter for now, to my own displeasure. As for the other Twitter clones: I wonder how many people remember their names.
If Facebook has a long-term hit on its hands, then kudos. Somehow, I just don’t see the hype lasting for any Twitter clone, no matter who makes it.
Tell me, Threads users, am I missing out on something? Isn’t Facebook too prudish to give Twitter a run for its money? If I could just peek at your screen a little…