What if you could rebuild the social media universe with the 20/20 hindsight of everything everyone did wrong over the past couple of decades? Well, that seems to be the promise of Meta's new microblogging app, Threads, which is built on what it calls the "Fediverse" -- which allusions to the metaverse aside, sounds more like the vision of Web3 than the the Web 2.0 infrastructure most social media apps have been built on.
"The servers on the fediverse are distributed and decentralized," Threads explainer page says.
Sounds promising. Until you get to the next explainer section about your data:
"By joining Threads, you agree to the Meta terms and Threads supplemental terms."
Doh! Well it was a good start.
That said, Threads does feel like a new beginning.
Or as @dwgoolhead threaded: "I'm optimistic on Threads. Let's keep it that way."
That genuinely has been the initial sentiment of initial posts, including @AOC's "May this platform have good vibes, strong community, excellent humor, and less harassment (magic wand emoji)."
If only there was a way to block sarcastic assholes like me, whose inaugural thread reads: "Does anyone know Elon Musk's Threads handle?"
Actually, when I searched for @elonmusk on Threads, it returned 58 versions of parody handles, ostensibly all migrated from their Twitter handles.
Score one for @MarkZuckerberg, who seven hours into the app's launched, posted that it already had 10 million sign-ups.
Based on the initial buzz, and the obsessive media coverage -- especially the whole Zuck v. Musk battle of the billionaires news hook -- I'm pretty confident that Threads is poised to rival ChatGPT's recent speed-to-scale sign-up rate.
That will be some meaningful real estate on mobile device installs. And if Threads maintains its promising tone, it could actually become the "Twitter killer" that pundits pre-claimed it to be.
It's already got me as a user (same as my Instagram handle @joemandese), even though I quit Facebook a long, long time ago.
My initial reactions to Threads are:
Personally, it's not like I'm looking for a new social media app, but Instagram was the only one I really hung in there with, because it was relatively clean and well-lighted compared to most of the pre-fediverse, so I'm going to give it a try and see how it scales for me personally.
And I'll keep logging in to Twitter to see what dumpster @elonmusk ignites next, because I actually have to cover this business too.