Threads app has 100 million users in five days
Meta promises less fighting than Twitter, but we don't need more social media platforms
On Independence Day, I promised myself I would stop publicly posting on social media forever. I didn’t make it 24 hours.
So as I sat on the grass on the 4th of July, staring at the black sky, waiting for the fireworks, I decided I wouldn’t give strangers on the internet more ammo to upset me.
On July 5, Mark Zuckerberg released his latest social media app Threads to compete with Twitter. I’ve written before about how social media is addictive and harmful to society, but I keep falling for Silicon Valley’s tricks.
Race to Threads
Meta’s adrenaline-rush trick was to launch by giving users numbers to show how early they joined. I immediately downloaded Threads and signed up for an account by linking to my Instagram. I’m number 663,776. As of Monday morning, there are 100 million users. Twitter has 250 million.
Once I got the app, I raced to grab the at emilymiller handle but couldn’t get it. (I’m stuck with emilymillerDC because it’s tied to Instagram.) Then I broke my promise to myself to not post on social media. I wrote on Threads about the app, which was neither interesting nor necessary content.
Threads had an enormously successful launch. Capitol Hill leaders, corporate brands, media outlets, celebrities, athletes and influencers are all on Threads already.
Analysts say Elon Musk’s Twitter is “tanking.”
Threads is being called the “Twitter killer” in major media reports. (I can’t find the source of the quote, so let me know in the comments if you can.)
Kindler, gentler site
Zuckerberg claims that Threads will be a kindler, gentler platform.
“The vision for Threads is to create an open and friendly public space for conversation.” Zuck wrote, “We hope to take what Instagram does best and create a new experience around text, ideas, and discussing what's on your mind.”
Twitter has always been a site to get your news. The head of Instagram and Threads, Adam Mosseri, said Threads is not doing that model.
The goal isn't to replace Twitter… Politics and hard news are inevitably going to show up on Threads - they have on Instagram as well to some extent - but we're not going to do anything to encourage those verticals.
Billionaire cage fights
In response to Zuck’s rainbows and kittens, Elon Musk is trying to salvage his $44 billion investment. He tweeted Monday, “You will get more laughs from this app than everything else combined.”
The billionaires want us to all get along online while they wage war.
Zuckerberg and Musk are planning a literal cage fight against each other. Musk is tweeting and calling Zuck names. He is threatening to sue Meta for stealing intellectual property. He has censored Threads from being searchable on Twitter.
Meta is reportedly censoring conservatives on Threads like it does on Instagram and Facebook.
There is no way any of these megalomanic billionaires can create a “friendly public space” for civil debate or communities. But we can all do our part to not contribute to it.
Over two years ago, I wrote to you about what the tech giants in Silicon Valley are doing to us:
They know the red notifications make us subliminally think it’s an emergency and our adrenaline rushes as we click. They know it’s the engagement with others that creates an addiction to make us keep coming back for more fighting. They know we are dehumanizing each other by the fake name accounts and tiny pictures that are impossible to look at eyes.
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