Chris Hannah


Day 1 with Threads #

I wrote a couple of days ago about my early thoughts on Threads. Overall, I was pretty optimistic about how it could turn out. It’s an alternative to Twitter, it could be another boost for the ActivityPub protocol, and it could mean people on Mastodon would be able to connect to more people.

However, as much as I wasn’t planning on replacing either of my Mastodon or Twitter use with Threads, I’m still left a bit disappointed by the launch. I’m now doubting whether I’ll be using it at all.

Sure, it’s just a 1.0, but it’s still a massively subpar experience.

I was expecting it to be “Twitter, by Instagram”, with emphasis on the Twitter. Instead, it’s the other way around.

To me, Threads takes one of the most annoying parts of Instagram, the algorithmic timeline, makes it worse, and then provides it as the foundation of a new social network.

Algorithmic feeds can work, and there are certainly benefits to them. But as a primary way of interacting with people on your platform? That seems a little weird. Especially when it’s not limited to the people that you choose to follow.

What’s the point of “following” someone on a social network, when you’re just going to see content from everyone else anyway? Is it just to give the algorithm a little nudge?

Anyway, as you can see, I’m not exactly a fan of Threads at the moment.

Maybe it can get better? Then again, it could also get worse

I think there’s still reason to be optimistic about a possible ActivityPub integration. But as for using Threads itself, I don’t think I’ll be doing that very much.

Update (16:30): While I am still unsure if Threads will work for me long-term. I wonder if it would be more beneficial to me as a replacement to Instagram, rather than Twitter or Mastodon.

Premature thoughts on Threads #

You may (or may not) have noticed the impending arrival of Facebook Meta Instagram’s new social app. Well, it’s now officially coming out on the 6th of July, and it’s called Threads.

The main rumour was that this new app would support ActivityPub, which is an open protocol that Mastodon is based on. This has led to all sorts of reactions. From people completely opposed to anything from Meta connecting to the Fediverse, and wanting to block it from their instance. To people that are excited about the potential of the new users that it would bring to the degenerated social network world.

I’d say I’m somewhere near the more optimistic end. Because, there is clearly space in the market for a new short-form text-based social network, and if it’s backed by Instagram, then it stands a good chance of surviving. Or at least gaining enough attention to make it viable in the short term.

Regarding ActivityPub and the Fediverse, my opinion is that if Threads fully supports the protocol, then that is surely a good thing. Because, apart from major social networks simply not existing, having them work with an open standard is surely a pretty cool thing.

I do not doubt that some people will not want to have their instance to connect to Threads. This is a totally valid opinion, and I’m sure there will still be options for this.

However, I’m guessing a lot of Mastodon instances won’t block Threads. Which means, if you know people that didn’t make the jump to Mastodon, you may now be able to communicate with them this way.

Either way, it’s a curious situation that a major platform like Instagram would even think about integrating with something open and decentralised. And I look forward to seeing what happens as a result of this.