Threads, seeks to take a different route than its predecessors. Adam Mosseri, the head honcho of Instagram, emphatically laid out the company’s stance towards the incorporation of hard news and political discourse on Threads, emphasizing that it’s steering away from the storms of controversy and rather, focusing on fostering more enjoyable user communities.
Threads, which burst onto the digital scene just last week, doesn’t aim to stir the political pot or court controversy with hard-hitting news pieces. Quite the contrary, it appears to be a playground designed to cater to communities that are centered around sports, music, fashion, beauty, entertainment, and more. “There are more than enough amazing communities… to make a vibrant platform without needing to get into politics or hard news,” Mosseri commented, drawing the company’s line in the sand when it comes to the type of content it wishes to encourage.
Meta, Instagram‘s parent company, has been progressively distancing itself from the often-contentious realms of news and politics. This intention was made evident when it eliminated the word “News” from the Facebook Feed, sending a clear message of the direction it was taking. When faced with the prospect of being compelled by Canadian legislation to pay for local news content, the tech giant boldly stated its readiness to pull news content from its platforms in Canada altogether.
Though the strategy might seem to be a knee-jerk reaction to circumvent potential scrutiny or negativity, the reality paints a different picture. Threads is not about discouraging or down-ranking news or politics, clarified Mosseri. Instead, he admitted, “If we are honest, we were too quick to promise too much to the industry on Facebook in the early 2010s, and it would be a mistake to repeat that.” Herein lies a crucial lesson learnt and a strategic approach that takes a long-term perspective on the health of the platform and its user base.
Mosseri is quick to assert that Threads is not a replica of Twitter, rather it’s a novel attempt to carve out a niche of its own, providing a less incendiary space for conversations. Emulating Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitions, he expressed a similar hope for Threads, noting, “The goal isn’t to replace Twitter. The goal is to create a public square for communities on Instagram that never really embraced Twitter.”
Already enjoying more than 100 million signups since its launch, Threads certainly seems to be basking in its early success. Its algorithmic feed, though currently inundated with celebrities and brands, projects a different vibe than the contentious world of Twitter. And while Instagram doesn’t aim to turn Threads into another Twitter, it is actively working on introducing a chronological feed, making it more amenable to those who wish to stay abreast of events as they unfold.
But will it remain untouched by politics and news? With the impending 2024 presidential elections, it seems inevitable that elements of politics and news might seep into the Threads landscape. Yet, as it stands, Instagram isn’t planning to roll out the red carpet for such content. Threads, in its essence, seeks to foster community interactions rather than diving headlong into the unpredictable waves of politics and news. For now, don’t set your heart on a “Thread-Deck” – the path Instagram is treading is a different one.
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