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Meta’s Threads App Attracts Reluctant Twitter Users and Influencers

by Sophia Chen
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Twitter refugees

Celebrities, influencers, and regular social media users are embracing Meta’s new app, Threads, as they seek to connect with their followers. Among them are Twitter users who are tired of the drama surrounding Elon Musk’s controversial presence on the platform. However, the big question remains: Will they stick around?

According to Instagram head Adam Mosseri, Threads has already garnered 100 million sign-ups within five days of its launch. The app was introduced as a companion to Instagram, attracting a wide range of individuals, including those who have migrated from Twitter.

Ann Coleman, a 50-year-old from Baltimore, joined Threads after hearing about it from a comedian she follows on social media. Despite being a long-time Twitter user, she has been seeking an alternative platform due to Elon Musk’s political views and changes he has made to Twitter. She previously tried Mastodon, a decentralized social network, but found it confusing. While she appreciates Threads, she wishes it had better integration with her Twitter friends.

Michael Evancoe, a 28-year-old production worker, had his personal Twitter account suspended in the past and hasn’t used the platform much since. He agrees with some of Musk’s changes and created a new account this year but struggled to gain followers or interactions. Since joining Threads, he has experienced more engagement with other users. However, he hopes that Meta doesn’t excessively moderate the platform.

Meta has stated that it will moderate Threads using Instagram’s content guidelines. They position the app as a less toxic alternative to Twitter, aiming to provide a digital town square where different communities can engage in conversations. The initial two days of Threads’ availability saw a 5% decrease in Twitter traffic compared to the previous week and an 11% decrease compared to the same period last year. However, SimilarWeb reports an overall decline in Twitter traffic, even without the presence of Threads.

Jennifer Billinson, a professor of media studies, sees a potential culture clash between Twitter refugees and the much larger influx of Instagram users on Threads. This clash may arise due to the more abrasive culture of Twitter not aligning with the laid-back nature of Instagram. Providing users with more control over their Threads feed could potentially alleviate tensions.

Despite the surge in users, Brendan Gahan, chief social officer at creative agency Mekanism, believes it’s too early to determine Threads’ success. He questions whether the rapid growth is beneficial and highlights the success of platforms that adopted a focused approach and expanded gradually. Influencers also face challenges on Threads, such as replicating their following from other platforms and potential overcrowding of popular creators.

Content creator Asante Madrigal has been experimenting with Threads by reposting his videos on various topics. However, he does not plan to prioritize Threads since he cannot monetize his content there. Instead, he will focus on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, where he has a combined following of over 2 million.

Madrigal finds the Threads algorithm to be a black box and highlights some missing features, including hashtags and direct messaging between users. The app requires more effort to figure out, which has led some of his friends to be skeptical about adopting another app.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Twitter refugees

Q: How many people have signed up for Meta’s Threads app since its launch?

A: According to Instagram head Adam Mosseri, 100 million people have signed up for Threads within the first five days of its launch.

Q: Why are people migrating to Threads from Twitter?

A: Some users, referred to as “Twitter refugees,” are migrating to Threads due to fatigue with the drama surrounding Elon Musk’s oversight of Twitter and seeking a less toxic alternative.

Q: Does Threads integrate with Twitter?

A: While Threads is a companion app to Instagram, it does not seamlessly integrate with Twitter. Users who want to connect with their Twitter friends on Threads need to manually find and follow them on the new platform.

Q: How is Meta moderating Threads?

A: Meta has stated that Threads will be moderated using Instagram’s content guidelines. However, specific details regarding moderation practices and policies are not provided in the text.

Q: Are influencers using Threads to engage with their followers?

A: Yes, influencers are using Threads to connect with their followers. By integrating Threads with Instagram, content creators can easily convert their Instagram followers into Threads followers. However, there may be challenges for influencers in gaining the same following and maintaining their influence on this new platform.

Q: Can Threads be monetized by content creators?

A: Currently, Threads does not offer monetization options for content creators. As a result, some creators, like Asante Madrigal mentioned in the text, prioritize other platforms where they can monetize their content, such as Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

Q: Are there any concerns about the algorithm and features of Threads?

A: Users have raised concerns about the lack of transparency regarding the Threads algorithm and certain missing features, such as hashtags and direct messaging between users. The algorithm determines the content shown in users’ Threads feed, and improvements may be needed to enhance user experience and control over the platform.

Q: What is the potential impact of Threads on Twitter’s traffic?

A: The text mentions that during the first two days of Threads’ availability, there was a 5% decrease in Twitter traffic compared to the previous week and an 11% decrease compared to the same period last year. However, it is important to note that Twitter has experienced an overall decline in traffic, even without the presence of Threads.

More about Twitter refugees

  • Meta’s Threads app – Official website for Meta’s Threads app.
  • Elon Musk’s Twitter – Elon Musk’s official Twitter account.
  • Instagram – Official website for Instagram, the platform to which Threads is a companion app.
  • Mastodon – Website for Mastodon, a decentralized social network mentioned in the text.
  • SimilarWeb – Website of the web analytics company mentioned in the text.
  • Brendan Gahan – Information about Brendan Gahan, partner and chief social officer at Mekanism creative agency.
  • Asante Madrigal – Asante Madrigal’s Instagram profile, mentioned as a content creator in the text.

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