I don't post a lot on Twitter, just links to my blog posts, basically, but I follow many people on Twitter and have liked it as a great way to stay informed about subjects I'm interested in: politics, Ukraine war, Oregon news, local weather, and such.
However, after Elon Musk bought Twitter it's become annoying. Musk keeps making arbitrary changes to what once was a successful product. So along with a great many other Twitter users, I've been hoping that a viable alternative to Twitter would come along. In short, a Twitter killer.
Now it has: Threads.
Instagram’s much-hyped new Twitter-killer app, Threads, is here. And it looks a lot like Twitter. Which is exactly the point.
Many social media users are ready — desperate even — for a solid Twitter replacement, as the app has been going through a particularly rough phase in what many see as its gradual product degeneration under Elon Musk’s leadership. Last weekend, the company started limiting the number of tweets people can read, a questionable business decision that was widely unpopular with users. While there are some alternatives out there, like Mastodon and Bluesky, none have grown to surpass Twitter’s popularity with a critical mass of politically and culturally influential figures.
So Meta-owned Instagram decided to strike while the iron is hot. The Threads app was initially expected to launch later this month, only to be moved up to this Thursday, and now, to today. The app will start to go live for users in 100 countries, although reportedly not in the European Union (more on that later).
Today I got around to setting up Threads after I downloaded the app for my iPhone yesterday. That was easy. I already had a (rarely used) Instagram account, so Threads automatically used the same user name, salembrian.
I then changed my Instagram and Threads user photos to match what I'd been using on Twitter. That's a help to people who followed me on Twitter and wanted to make sure that the Brian Hines on Threads (there's already several of us) is the same guy as the Brian Hines who tweeted as oregonbrian.
Probably I should have figured out a way to make my Threads user name oregonbrian also, but since I won't be posting very much on Threads, it seemed that changing to salembrian had some pluses to it -- such as a feeling of starting fresh on this alternative to Twitter, which I hope turns out to be a Twitter killer.
The look and feel of Threads is close to that of Twitter. Here's a screenshot of my feed.
Threads starts you out with a feed filled with posts, so you aren't met with a blank screen. I started searching for key people and organizations that I follow on Twitter and was pleased to find that many already have a Threads account.
Apparently as time goes on, and a Threads user follows more fellow Threads users, their feed will evolve to be less filled with random posts and more filled with posts from those being followed. That's been my experience so far, which basically means just today.
Threads really does feel like it could be a Twitter killer. This Threads post caught my eye.
Hey, all that is fine with me. I want Threads to grow rapidly and push Twitter into the background as soon as possible. I'm not saying that Meta and Mark Zuckerberg are any sort of social media saints. They're not.
But at least they favor making their social media offerings fairly safe for users who don't want to be subjected to endless disinformation, hate speech, and other crap that Elon Musk appears to be fine with on Twitter.
So I'm looking forward to seeing what Threads becomes. At the moment, it's looking good.