London, 12. July 2023

Our Head of Strategy and Operations, James Ross, has given his thoughts on Meta’s newest app, Threads.

I signed up to Threads as soon as I read about it in the news. 

Straight on the bandwagon, along with 100 million other people. 

I’m a frequent twitter user, following my favourite sports teams and players, journalists, comedians and musicians. That makes me prime target audience for Threads. The promise of a friendlier discussion community is a very attractive proposition to somebody that has been navigating the declining cesspit that twitter is quickly becoming known for.  

Having spent a few days on Threads now I have some thoughts:

1. How does a company that has been heavily criticised of how they police content manage potentially the worlds largest community discussion forum?

This is a company that had no clue how to police severe content on Facebook and Instagram.

Horrific content has been shared and boosted on their platforms in the past. To this day, most of their detection is via human intervention. Twitter has struggled with the same issues.

So we must ask how will Threads deal with it. This is a place where the dark side of the web can thrive if left alone.

2. What will free speech mean on Threads?

People are allowed to have opinions. You’re allowed to disagree with those opinions. You’re allowed to support political parties that others may dislike or hate footballers that somebody else loves or find a joke funny that somebody else doesn’t. 

There was a time on Twitter where the waters got murky. Lots of celebrities, outspoken individuals, journalists, political leaders and so forth were getting algorithm changes directly targeted at them or blocked altogether. 

How will Threads go about managing this? It is a bumpy road that nobody can seem to get right.

A platform that is unbalanced in opinion can end up being a very dangerous place. 

3. Monetisation and ads are coming on mass.

Without question, Meta need this platform to be a success. It has been widely reported that growth at Meta has begun to stagnate. 

With users arriving in Threads on mass, you would expect the ads to follow. Two wonderful statistics mean a lot for these types of companies: new users and revenue growth. 

My only worry is the type of ad experience we can expect. 

If it’s a copy and paste of stories and infeed it will be a big shame. When having the opportunity to design a platform from the ground up it would be great to see some innovative use of spaces to see how we can continue to improve ad experiences or try new formats. 

I suspect I will be let down. I hope I am proven wrong.

4. Are the same voices moving to a new home in Threads or will new voices be heard?

My final thought. Who can we expect to be the biggest influences on this social platform? We’ve seen all the agents, social PR teams and major names on other platforms (especially Twitter) jump straight on to Threads.

They’ll just be posting the same duplicated content across all platforms. 

What I am excited to see is how Threads can evolve to give it a unique voice and become a home to a new set of voices, creators and influencers. I feel it is the only way this platform can truly be a success and one of the reasons I would return to it over and over again. 

I’ll check back in on this by the end of the year, I have no doubt we won’t be short of news.

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