Tech

Threads seems like fun. But there’s also a lot wrong with it. A LOT. You’d better read this. [SLIGHT UPDATE]

According to stats I saw yesterday, Threads–a part of Instagram and thus Meta/Facebook–is being used by over 30 million people a day. Somewhere over 110 million have signed up over the last week, making it the fastest-growing app in history. Why? Certainly not because people have developed an affinity for Mark Zuckerberg, but because Elon Musk has made Twitter so toxic that we’re crazy for an alternative.

[Note: After an initial flurry of interest, time spent on Threads seems to be on the decline.]

Thus far, Threads seems reasonably benign, free of ads, and non-political. Trolls and spambots aren’t much of a problem–yet until now. It seems like a friendly place.

So…yay, right?

It turns out that Threads is a privacy nightmare that’s hijacking information about users that, once you know about it, feels like someone has a gun to your ribs. Here are the data we’re giving up. I mean, HOLY SH*T! And what “other data” could there possibly be?

Jeezus! NOTHING is private on Threads!

Other issues:

  • No DMs
  • You can’t delete your Threads account without simultaneously deleting your Instagram account
  • Are my posts being shared by other users? No idea. There’s no count of reposts and no notifications that someone may have done so.
  • Is anything I post going viral? No idea.
  • No desktop app? That’s bullsh*t.
  • What am I being allowed/not allowed to see? No idea.
  • What of what I post do other people see? No idea.
  • Who am I reaching with my posts? No idea.

This doesn’t feel much like a social network community, does it? Is Mark Zuckerberg still an evil info-grabbing succubus? Yes. And perhaps even moreso.

UPDATE: Some new features have been added.

  • A followers list
  • The opportunity to subscribe to unfollowed users
  • A revised “follows” tab.

Still, there’s a long way to go before Threads turns into a true Twitter clone. More on the updates here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38319 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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