Who cares?

Dan Gardener
Co-Founder & Exec Chair,
Code and Theory
Co-Founder, ON_Discourse

All the talk about Threads would make you think it could be as potentially transformative as ChatGPT. 

The headlines read: “100 million sign-ups in 5 days.” Wow, this must be important! 

Podcasts are endlessly talking about it. Media trades can’t stop writing about it. Creative advertising agencies are already the experts on how to use it. Aren’t we lucky?

Let’s put the 100 million sign-ups into perspective. Justin Bieber still personally has more followers on Twitter than the entire Threads platform.

100 million is still a small percentage of total Instagram or even Facebook users despite the frictionless way you could sign up. If you advertised a free service to over 2 billion people, is 5% sign-up a success? Why is the media jumping all over this like it’s an indication of success or change in behavior?

And most importantly, why would you use it if you care about text-based social networks and already have a proven platform that delivers? Is a dislike for Elon Musk the main driving force for change? And so they go to Meta?!



Is this the new Apple vs. Microsoft passion war of the ‘80s and ‘90s? Doesn’t seem like it. At least with the Apple vs. Microsoft brand war there were product attributes or design tastes that were clearly different and better.

Threads has no clear behavioral-driven product experiences that are new or superior. YouTube popularized community-generated content, Facebook allowed you to connect in new ways, WhatsApp allowed you to communicate in new ways, Twitter allowed you to discover content in new ways, Snap created ephemeral communication and sharing, TikTok created a new mobile-first faster way to share and consume content, Pinterest allowed you to be inspired in a new way and even more recently ChatGTP allowed you to create in new ways. Threads have no clear proposition that is different.  

This feels like the media is talking to themselves. It’s meaningless to most people. 

And for advertisers, it’s meaningless to them as well. At least for now.

I can reach more people with Bieber or the Super Bowl if I wanted mass advertising with no targeting.

Will it pick up steam? Maybe. I’m not making a prediction either way. But right now it’s much ado about nothing. Just something to speculate and talk about. 

Big business is not doing anything differently because threads exists today, but the mainstream and trade media would have you feeling differently.

Do you agree with this?
Do you disagree or have a completely different perspective?
We’d love to know