Threads and Twitter: A Playground Battle for the Ages

July 18, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_t[1]Note: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

Twitter helped make some people famous. No big name publisher needed. Just an algorithm and a flow of snappy comments. Fame. Money. A platformer, sorry, I meant platform.

7 18 playground argument

Is informed, objective analysis of Facebook and Twitter needed? Sure, but the approach taken by some is more like an argument at a school picnic over the tug –of – war teams. Which team will end up with grass stains? Which will get the ribbon with the check mark? MidJourney developed this original art object.

Now that Twitter has gone Musky, those who may perceive themselves as entitled to a blue check, algorithmic love, and a big, free megaphone are annoyed. At least that’s how I understand “Five Reasons Threads Could Still Go the Distance.” This essay is about the great social media dust up between those who love Teslas and those who can find some grace in the Zuck.

Wait, wasn’t the Zuck the subject of some criticism? Cambridge Analytic-type activities and possibly some fancy dancing with the name of the company, the future of the metaverse, and expanding land holdings in Hawaii? Forget that.

I learned in the article, which is flavored with some business consulting advice from a famous social media personality:

It’s always a fool’s errand to judge the prospects of a new social network a couple weeks into its history.

So what is the essay about? Exactly.

I learned from the cited essay:

Twitter’s deterioration continues to accelerate. Ad revenue is down by 50 percent, according to Musk, and — despite the company choosing not to pay many of its bills — the company is losing money. Rate limits continue to make the site unusable to many free users, and even some paid ones. Spam is overwhelming users’ direct messages so much that the company disabled open DMs to free users. The company has lately been reduced to issuing bribe-like payouts to a handful of hand-picked creators, many of whom are aligned with right-wing politics. If that’s not a death spiral, what is?

Wow, a death spiral at the same time Threads may be falling in love with “rate limits.”

Can the Zuck can kill off Twitter. Here’s hoping. But there is only one trivial task to complete, according to the cited article:

To Zuckerberg, the concept has been proved out. The rest is simply an execution problem. [Emphasis added]

As that lovable influencer, social media maven, and management expert Peter Drucker observed:

What gets measured, gets managed.

Isn’t it early days for measurement? Instagram was a trampoline for Threads. The Musk managment modifications seem to be working exactly as the rocket scientist planned them to function. What’s billions in losses mean to a person whose rockets don’t blow up too often.

Several observations:

  1. Analyzing Threads and Twitter is a bit like a school yard argument, particularly when the respective big dogs want to fight in a cage in Las Vegas
  2. The possible annoyance or mild outrage from those who loved the good old free Twitter is palpable
  3. Social media remains an interesting manifestation of human behavior.

Net net: I find social media a troubling innovation. But it does create news which some find as vital as oxygen, water, and clicks. Yes, clicks. The objective I believe.

Stephen E Arnold, July 18, 2023


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