Is Threads the Good Place?

Once upon a time on social media, the nicest app of them all, Instagram, home to animal bloopers and filtered selfies, established a land called Threads, a hospitable alternative to the cursed X, Formerly Known as Twitter. X had been taken over by the Dark Lord Musk, he who reopened X’s gateway to its banished demons Donald Trump, Kanye West and Andrew Tate.

The good people of X tried to flee, scattering to the hinterlands of Mastodon and Bluesky, whose distant confines they then complained about on X.

But Threads would provide a new refuge. It would be Twitter But Nice, a Good Place where X’s liberal exiles could gather around for a free exchange of ideas and maybe even a bit of that 2012 Twitter magic — the goofy memes, the insider riffing, the meeting of new online friends. A place where learnings and conversations were almost better than IRL engagement. With many key functions still in development, Threads even had a pleasingly lo-fi ambience.

I joined Threads shortly after its July 5 debut as an observer (having fled Twitter well before it X-ed itself out). At the beginning, early adopters waited by the sidelines, present but not posting, like seventh graders huddled by the door at a middle school dance. Periodically, someone called out, “Is anyone here?” “Should I be here?” and “Is everyone else at some other party?”

Meanwhile, on what Threadsters called the Other Place, people who’d spent years building squadrons of loyal followers saw their blue checks stripped, their diatribes less liked, their feeds infiltrated by bots. It seems anyone to the left of MAGA had decamped. They would have to leave, too, and start from scratch.

As more participants joined Threads, a palpable enthusiasm, even merriment, broke out; it was like watching a schoolyard of kids unleashed from detention. We’re going to build the best treehouse ever!

Back to top button