We tried Threads: Meta's new social network has (almost) everything to compete with Twitter

Threads is already here, or at least, it is half. A priori, the new Meta social network is already available, but the "reality” (in quotes, now we will explain why) is that in the European Union it has not yet been launched. However, we have already been able to access Threads, take a look and see what's cooking, what it's like inside and what we can expect from Mark Zuckerberg's “new Twitter”. And we already told you that yes, it starts with an advantage.

Half-assed (half-assed) pitching. The first thing is that Threads is not available in the European Union due to privacy issues. However, the reality is that nothing prevents you from downloading the APK file from a trusted repository, installing the application on your mobile and starting it up. Unlike what you might expect, there is no need for a VPN or anything like that. Downloads, installs and to run. This is exactly what we have done on an Android mobile for these impressions.

The register. It couldn't be simpler, as Threads integrates with Instagram. When we open the app, we log in with our Instagram account, thus preserving our username. We can also import our bio if we want and add a link, which we can also import from Instagram. The photo, more of the same. And finally, we can put the public or private profile, as we want. Actually, that's pretty much all we have, for now, in terms of personalization.

People to follow. When we complete our profile, Threads suggests who we can follow and each and every one of our contacts on Instagram appear in the list, whether they are in Threads or not. In fact, when I opened the account, I already had follow-up requests. The thing is, thanks to this mechanism, Threads starts with a huge advantage over Twitter: a base of 1,300 million users who are already on Instagram and who are potential users of Threads. It's a bit of a "trap” that people we follow on Instagram appear as users to follow in Threads, and even more so now, which is not officially available in Spain, but the idea is that: that from the beginning you can be aware of what the people you follow publish.

The feed. It probably won't surprise anyone that the thread feed is algorithmic. The content of the people we follow appears, but also publications (here they are called threads) of accounts that we do not follow and that may be of interest to us. In the profile picture of these accounts chosen by the algorithm, a “+" appears to quickly follow them. Photos, videos, GIFs and text can be shared and, at least for now, there is no advertising. For now, watch out. It probably won't take long to change. It should be noted here that Threads will use the ActivityPub protocol, the same as Mastodon, so it will be part of the fediverse, but this is not available at launch.

Explore. In the magnifying glass icon we will find recommended accounts to follow and a profile finder (not threads), little more. There are no trending hashtags or additional content beyond the search engine and the list of accounts. In fact, it is striking that the hashtags we put in the threads are not clickable, so, a priori, they do not seem to have any effect or value when, for example, commenting and following an event. Anyway, this is a very initial version, so, probably, this kind of thing will be implemented in the future.

Create threads. The Thread message creator couldn't be simpler. We can put up to 500 characters in each message and add information in the lower messages, such as in Twitter threads. There are no formatting options and you can't edit a newly submitted post. What we can do is add multimedia content, select who can see the post and hide the number of ’likes' (something inherited from Instagram but that maybe makes less sense here). Users who see our threads will be able to reply, share, quote, like, mute, hide, block and report the content.

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