Twitter has been under a cloud since 2022, but the social media platform struggled long before that. When Jack Dorsey created Twitter to mesh an SMS system with an algorithm that would ‘read-only' by the sender's network. Two weeks later, the ‘blue bird' became synonymous with Twitter, especially ‘verified' accounts.
Twitter Treads Water
By 2022, Twitter was treading water, and Elon Musk circled the injured platform like a shark, just waiting for the kill. Accused of widespread censorship, Musk promised to bring Twitter back and open up channels of communication because when it comes to free speech, Musk said, “By ‘free speech,' I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law.”
This week, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, announced that it will launch Threads this Thursday, July 6th, 2023. This ‘conversation app' will compete directly with Twitter, presenting a challenge for Elon Musk's team to meet.
With Facebook also being accused of massive, far-reaching censorship, it'll be interesting to see if Threads can thrive as Musk puts new limitations on how many posts Twitter users can see daily. When this story hit the internet, plenty of people had something to say about it.
1. If Only
One user is already looking to switch platforms, if only. “Now, if there was some way to download all my Twitter data and move it to Threads as an upload. That would be amazing!”
2. I'll Stay
Another contributor joined Twitter to support Elon Musk. “I joined Twitter to support Musk. I'll stay there.” I'd venture Musk has more people in his corner than Zuckerberg will end up with in his.
3. Only Time
Plenty of people were rooting for Meta. “Only time in my life I'm rooting for Meta,” even if it is a one-and-done sort of thing.
4. If Nothing Else
Another commenter loves the competition. “If nothing else, this at least provides more competition.” They aren't wrong; competition is the heart of capitalism, and America is a capitalist country.
One interested party thinks Facebook is for older generations. “Only boomers and Gen X'ers want Facebook. Imagine those conversations. I only have Facebook so my grandparents can keep up with my kids.”
A forum participant was willing to give Meta a chance. “I'm willing to give it a try. Twitter is awful. Maybe Meta can provide a reasonable alternative.”
One respondent thinks Threads is a bad sign. “Threads. As if Facebook Moms and locals groups weren't terrifying enough, he's launching the Twitter version of NextDoor.”
Somebody laughingly hopes Threads comes with some perks. “Gee, I hope it comes with built-in censorship… don't want my feelings hurt.”
One individual mentioned Jack Dorsey's new Bluesky initiative. “I cannot believe I'm considering this, but Elon Musk is deliberately driving intelligent, independent voices off the site, making it unusable. Many good journalists are weirdly trusting Bluesky where Jack has shut down new invites so the public won't hear from these voices.”
10. Musk Wins
One person doesn't think Mark Zuckerberg will win a game of smarts. “Zuck can't outsmart Musk. My money is on Twitter.”
Another forum poster wanted to remind everyone about The Social Network. “May I remind you that they made a movie about this shifty, creepy stalker?”
12. Echo Chamber
Someone else likes the idea of discussing politics on a new platform. “Now that Elon Musk bought & fixed Twitter, The Left needs a new echo chamber.”
If we're basing the success or failure of Twitter and Threads on public opinion, Twitter might edge them out. It's already well-established, and even with Musk's team in charge, plenty of people still use the social platform.
Even if the switchover is relatively easy, I find it hard to believe that people will want to start over to promote a new platform when they've already established their Twitter profiles. Only time will tell if Zuckerberg's Threads can stand up to Twitter in the ‘conversation app' space.