This is what the first hours in the new meta network feel like

More than ten million users in just eight hours: Threads, Meta’s new network, exploded right from the start. And it also feels correspondingly full from the first second. Because Meta has a huge advantage over other Twitter alternatives, but more on that in a moment.

From the EU? You are not allowed in here!

If you want to try out Threads in Germany, you have to take a few detours. In this country, an American Apple ID is required for iOS and for Android the way leads via an APK file. The app is officially available in more than 100 countries, but the countries of the European Union and thus Germany are not included. The reason for this is probably that the EU wants to restrict the exchange of data between apps, which could particularly affect Meta with Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and now also threads.

Threads’ profile page is reminiscent of a cross between Instagram and Twitter. (Image: Mockuphone/Screenshot)

That sounds familiar

If you have managed to install the Threads app despite EU restrictions, you will be greeted with the option of logging in with an existing Instagram account. If the Instagram app is already installed, even the user name and password are automatically adopted, at least that’s how it was when we first logged in on the iPhone. And then the big trump card of Meta comes into play, because users can not only take all profile information from their Instagram profile, they can also automatically follow all people on threads they already follow on Instagram. And this simple trick ensures that threads are filled with many familiar faces after just eight hours, not just journalists and celebrities.

Threads also looks full, because during development it was deliberately decided not only to fill the home feed with accounts that you follow, but also with postings that are currently trending. Later it should be possible to change this, but at the start it should liven up the platform. And that works.

Menus, layouts, and features also feel instantly familiar because they’re a cross between Instagram and Twitter. Posts can be liked, reposted and quoted, and threads can be created. Photos and videos are also available from the start.

The functions also look very familiar to Twitter and Instagram users. (Image: Mockuphone/Screenshot)

What features are still missing

On the first day, it is not surprising that there are still problems in some areas. The onslaught on the network ensures that the activity tab or your own profile loads very slowly. Notifications don’t always work reliably either. Meta already confirms that the group was interested, but did not expect such a rush.

And important and popular functions have not yet made it into the first version of the app, for example editing posts or sharing posts between Instagram and threads. So far there are no corresponding functions.

Incidentally, advertising has not yet played out threads either. Instagram boss Adam Mosseri wrote in a thread post that they first wanted to create an app that people would like to use. Only then would you think about monetization.

The home feed does not initially only consist of posts from accounts that you follow. (Image: Mockupphone/Screenshot)

The Fediverse is late

Even the first rumors about the new meta app a few weeks ago repeatedly talked about a connection to the Fediverse, i.e. a link to Mastodon and Co. via the Acitvitypub protocol. Meta also seems to be sticking to this plan, which is illustrated by the structure of usernames and profiles, for example. At the start, however, the Fediverse is still missing. Meta promises to change that in the near future and then, for example, allow threads to follow accounts on Mastodon and vice versa.

Exactly when that will happen, how deep the integration of Activitypub will really be and how well the Fediverse will respond to this push remains to be seen.

Elon Musk needs to dress warmly

Until then, however, Threads is feeling very busy and busy right now. New accounts keep popping up, you keep discovering people you already follow on other networks, and the tone so far has been very friendly and euphoric. As with any social network, this will soon settle down to normal levels, and when the initial hype wears off, it remains to be seen whether Meta really succeeds with a re-clone of a popular other network.

However, there is one point that clearly speaks for Meta. And that’s Elon Musk with his management skills and the current state of Twitter. What Mastodon, Bluesky and Co. haven’t been able to do so far could happen now: the end of the blue bird.

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