Meta was very smart! They launched Threads in the US when Twitter was at their weakest point and had a lot of problems – and the EU start was equally well timed, as Elon just recently told his advertisers to “fuck off”. Well done Elmo, well done.
After Twitters demise I decided that I would at least try every new social network and see if there was one to my liking. Now that Threads has finally officially launched in the EU, I checked that one out as well. To be honest, I am quite “whelmed”.
Let us start with the vibe itself: it is just off for me. People using the same old jokes, the same old platitudes and the same fake stories that they used on Twitter for years. It feels like they have given a bunch of 7-year-olds a lot of ice cream and soda, hand them a sharpie and let them roam wild for hours in the living room.
It feels very chaotic, neither the app nor the web interface remembers where you left off. The algorithmic timeline “for you” is the default, and you need to switch back to “following” every time to switch the pane in the app, leave the app or revisit the web interface. The “search” is a bit hidden and horribly implemented, the “mute” functionality does not really fully mute and no matter how often you click “hide this post”, Threads will ignore your wishes and show the post again next time you reload the timeline.
But I saved the worst “feature” for last. Meta is filtering out certain topics like current events, politics and news. They currently filter out posts about Covid, for example. As far as I understand it, that filter is applied like a “shadow ban”. You can post about it, it is simply not searchable or shown to other people. And it is not a mistake, this is a “feature” and “by design”.
I think that is the issue for me. Everything else – with the exception of the algorithmic timeline setting – will probably be improved or fixed in the next clouple of weeks and months. I do not think I will be very active on that platform. Currently I hope that I can at least replace “Gaming Twitter” with Threads – if nothing else. It seems that the wide majority of game developers, game journalists, streamers and everything else related to games did not make the jump from Twitter/X yet. A lot of the big players are already on the platform, I hope the rest will join as well.