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Meta introduces Threads, offering a glimpse into forthcoming components

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Meta introduces Threads, offering a glimpse into forthcoming components

Meta’s recently launched Threads application, designed to rival Twitter, is now live. As we gather information, we are continuously uncovering the app’s appearance and functionality. Additionally, the Instagram team has provided valuable information on forthcoming features to be expected on the platform.

The visual design of Threads is appealing, featuring a sleek and uncomplicated layout that closely resembles the fundamental functions of a Twitter feed.

Meta has sensibly aimed to emulate the Twitter experience within their new application. Today, a few fortunate users were granted early access to explore the in-app features, allowing me to delve into some of the new app’s functionalities.

To begin with, regarding functionality, posts on Threads can span up to 500 characters and have the ability to incorporate links, photos, and videos up to a duration of 5 minutes.

Similar to Twitter, Threads are showcased in the primary feed, initially accompanied by a substantial amount of recommended content. Users have the ability to engage with each update by liking, reposting, and responding to them.

Although Threads has been developed to operate on a decentralized protocol, offering enhanced portability and data control, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, has stated that it will not possess full functionality in this regard upon its launch.

In the near future, every user will be assigned a threads.net username, which will be searchable on other applications utilizing ActivityPub, including social platforms like Mastodon. This implementation theoretically offers more flexibility to leverage personal in-app information and extend audience engagement to other conversations in different applications and digital realms.

Despite the existence of the fediverse, a network of federated servers collaborating to create an open social media environment, there is some resistance to Meta’s intrusion into this realm. A group of fediverse moderators are striving to prevent Meta’s products from encroaching on this space.

This contradicts the fundamental principles of the model itself. Essentially, the emerging open platforms are not particularly pleased with major players like Meta attempting to capitalize on their efforts. Meta and similar companies are seen as responsible for the issues that prompted the creation of the fediverse in the first place.

Regardless, this development is expected to occur once Meta successfully resolves the intricate challenges associated with enabling such connectivity.

Threads offers enhanced functionality by providing a straightforward method to switch between light and dark mode. Users can simply tap on the Threads icon located at the top of the screen to toggle between the two modes.

According to Mosseri, voice notes will be introduced to the app, along with the addition of photo and video tagging. Additionally, Meta is contemplating the inclusion of post reactions, although they are cautious about potential cluttering of the user interface (UI), as Meta aims to maintain a clutter-free UI experience.

Regarding post ranking, Mosseri explains that there is currently an algorithm in place that applies a subtle ranking to posts. Additionally, Meta is exploring the idea of featuring recommendations from accounts that users do not follow in their Threads feed, aiming to stimulate engagement and encourage user interaction.

Hence, it resembles the AI-powered discovery approach that has gained popularity in various other applications. However, it is anticipated that Meta may eventually adjust this feature or provide alternative options, such as separate “Following” and “Recommended” feeds, similar to the current user interface of Twitter.

It is worth mentioning that hashtags are currently not functional on Threads, although there are plans to potentially implement them in the future. Meta is also contemplating the appropriate terminology to use for various actions within the app. For instance, re-posts may be referred to as “re-threads,” but these naming decisions have not been finalized yet.

Upon its launch, users will have the ability to control who can reply to their posts on Threads. They can choose to limit replies to profiles they follow, individuals mentioned in the thread, or have an open, public discussion. Additionally, Instagram is incorporating various accessibility and interaction controls from its main app into Threads, providing users with a range of tools to manage their Threads experience effectively.

The app appears visually appealing and well-designed, presenting a polished appearance and creating a favourable environment. However, it currently lacks certain functionalities that can be expected to be gradually introduced by Meta in the future.

Will it be the ultimate competitor to Twitter?

Among all the contenders that have emerged as potential challengers to Twitter, Threads certainly stands out with its impressive visual appeal. Moreover, leveraging the social graph of Instagram will provide a significant advantage in introducing the app to a diverse group of potential users.

It is worth highlighting the contrasting user bases of Twitter, with approximately 250 million daily active users, and Instagram, which boasts over a billion users. This vast pool of non-Twitter users presents a substantial opportunity for Threads to attract a significant number of new users. Such growth momentum could position Threads as a viable alternative to Twitter, or at the very least, a noteworthy contender in the social media landscape.

Meta introduces Threads, offering a glimpse into forthcoming components

Furthermore, if notable Twitter users, especially those who oppose Musk’s initiatives or alterations, decide to switch their support, it could lead to substantial adoption of Threads. Regardless, the upcoming developments in the real-time social media competition are bound to generate great interest and excitement.

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