Three of the best things about Threads by Instagram, and one thing I hate

by W. Andrew Powell
Threads by Instagram

You have to give some credit where it’s due: Threads by Instagram had one of the biggest first days of any social media service ever, with a reported 10 million users in the first 7 hours.

The new rival to Twitter is filled with excited users rushing to see what they can make of the new service. It’s like people are finding themselves all over again.

So is Threads any good? We’ll have to wait and see if the enthusiasm for Threads will last, but a few things have impressed me. Have you signed up yet, or will you? If you’re still waiting to decide, here are some of the things that I love–and one thing that I hate–about Threads.

Everything is awesome

The first day of Threads felt like the first day of college, and everyone was trying to figure out who they were. And the second day still feels like maybe anything is possible. Who knows who could follow you! And why not post something new that you might not share elsewhere?

And most of all, for anyone who has endured the last few months of Twitter’s drama, it feels like a fresh space without the negativity, problems, and trouble. I’ve seen some people and companies sharing more than they have in months. It’s like you can be someone new, and all your Instagram friends are already there.

“Feels like old Twitter the early days of fun conversation,” blogger, content creator, and marketing pro Cassie Stewart said. “[It] was easy to sign up w/ IG bio/username, nice to connect w/ people that I follow but never see on IG.”

Stewart’s only complaint so far? “There’s no gifs yet! ????????”

Familiar and still new

Threads certainly feels like an app that I’ve used before, but it somehow also feels completely new. The lack of hashtags (so far) is fantastically refreshing, but the threaded replies, overall formatting, and features subtly improve on Twitter-like apps.

I love how easy it was to setup, and the app took my handle and bio from Instagram, so I didn’t have to fight to get my username. The app also allows you to post vertical, square, or horizontal photos, and they all look good. It doesn’t boldly try anything too new, but that’s also appealing.

And unlike some of the other competitors before this, Threads just works the way you think it should. No waiting for invites to join. You can repost, like, or reply to posts, block users, and click through to Instagram profiles from the person’s Threads profile. It’s all the basics that the app really needed to launch.

Quick and stable

A lot of apps are glitchy, slow, and even buggy at launch, but Threads has worked well, even when it felt like thousands of people were joining all at once. The interface is fast, and posting anything takes seconds, without any hassles, and most importantly, it doesn’t feel like it’s been glued together.

The platform is missing a few features, like a feed for just the people you follow, and sometimes I miss hashtags, but the best part is seeing how many people are active on Threads. If you start small on the app, a following tab would be pretty quiet, but the big, busy, and fun main feed feels like it makes sense right now to start things off.

And again, it works!

Compared to how buggy and glitchy Twitter has felt recently, especially after the rate limiting and other fiascos, Threads is refreshing.

But what about Facebook?

At the end of the day the biggest problem is that Threads is really all about Meta and Mark Zuckerberg. After all the issues we’ve seen from Facebook in the last decade, it doesn’t feel great to give more to Meta. We’ve seen so many issues with personal data, misinformation, and even the way Facebook has monetized reach, that it feels misguided to believe that Threads will be different.

If we’re just looking for a new app, Threads is fun right now and it works well, and people have taken to it, but it’s hard to say what happens when ads start appearing. Or when things change. Will Meta one day make the kinds of changes we saw on Instagram that fundamentally shifted the app’s purpose?

I’m willing to give the app, and Meta, a chance for now. In the end, it’s certainly better than what’s happened to Twitter. And I’ll always have Tumblr as a backup.

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