I looks like Meta will release their text-based, Instagram-branded Twitter competitor this week. Am I excited about Instagram Threads? Not really. I’m happy with the current state of my social media usage.
Am I curious about it? Absolutely. We are in a fascinating period of change in the services we use online and the ways we share information. Specifically, I’m interested in three questions:
Will Instagram users actually adopt it? This is the big question. Will the people I follow on Instagram start accounts? And will they post content that I’m interested in? What will the demographics of the user base be? So many question about what this audience might look like.
How will the ActivityPub implementation work? As a devoted Micro.Blog user, I’m interested in the rumored ActivityPub integration. Will I be able to follow Threads users on Micro.Blog? Can I cross post from Micro.Blog? As the first mainstream ActivityPub implementation, it will be interesting to see how they connect with the larger Fediverse.
What’s the media narrative? It’s guaranteed that there will be a direct contrast with the dumpster fire that Twitter has become, but what other media narratives will take shape. How will it be compared to Mastodon and Bluesky? Will media coverage increase consumer knowledge about the ActivityPub? Sounds like a research paper for grad school.
I’ll probably sign up for an account, since Instagram is pretty much the only social media I use other than Micro.Blog. And we’ll see what happens.
Bob Wertz is a creative director, type designer, Ph.D. student and researcher living in Columbia, South Carolina.