The boss of Threads speaks about the young social network and its objectives vis-à-vis Twitter. The platform does not want to replace its competitor when it comes to politics and news.
It’s hard to miss the canon launch of the Threads social network this week. It is already possible to download and install the application, even in Europe. The social network launched by Meta and based on Instagram has already convinced more than 70 million users in just 48 hours, which makes it arguably the best launch in history for a new application.
Threads is therefore a good candidate to succeed in replacing Twitter, shaken since the takeover by Elon Musk at the end of 2022. Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram and Threads for Meta, spoke on his new social network to clarify some points.
“Our goal is not to replace Twitter”
It is obvious that Threads was launched as a potential competitor and alternative to Twitter from which it takes over the most important functions. However, according to Adam Mosseri, Threads is not there to replace Twitter, but to create a place of discussion for the communities present on Instagram who had not adopted Twitter.
The goal is not to replace Twitter. The goal is to create a public square for communities on Instagram who have never really embraced Twitter and for communities on Twitter (and other platforms) who are interested in a less angry place to chat, but not all of Twitter. .
Politics and current affairs will inevitably be present on Threads — they already have been on Instagram to some extent — but we’re not going to do anything to encourage those verticals.
In November 2022, we explained why Twitter was very important, whether or not we use the social network, because it has a very special place in the political world. This is where the most important statements are made, which can then be taken up by the traditional media. The future of Twitter and its moderation are therefore real issues of democracy.
Fedivers, but no miscellaneous facts
Asked about this strategic choice on the part of Threads, Adam Mosseri explains the firm’s point of view.
Politics and sensitive news are important, I don’t want to imply otherwise. But I think, from a platform’s perspective, the extra engagement or revenue they can generate isn’t worth the scrutiny, negativity (let’s be honest), or integrity risks that come with it.
There are plenty of amazing communities — sports, music, fashion, beauty, entertainment, etc — to create a vibrant platform without having to focus on politics or current affairs.
With this statement, Meta clearly denies the role of public interest that Twitter has taken on at times. For all that Elon Musk’s social network is toxic, it is also the place where whistleblowers or journalists have been able to reveal crucial information for the general public.
Moreover, it is difficult to see how Threads could really block the treatment of politics on its platform when the latter is also an integral part of the cited leisure activities. It’s hard to imagine being the social network for music or sport by excluding any political comment.
It’s a questionable choice for this crucial role, but it should be noted that Threads does not wish to prohibit this use. Simply, the firm does not want to encourage it or invest in this sector. Moreover, we can, indeed, admit that Twitter has become well known for its toxicity linked, in particular, but not exclusively, to the vehemence of political debates on the platform.
Meta would therefore like Threads to join the Fedivers, but will not encourage users to talk about news items. Given current events in France, Threads’ position is particularly interesting.