Threading Lightly About Threads
Yesterday’s launch of Threads by Instagram and observing how 55 million humans behaved in 24 hours have been a captivating study in anthropology and branding.
As someone who has studied human behavior in design and launched numerous brands, I find the Threads launch worth noting on several fronts. Here are my two-cents’ worth going beyond the headlines that have dominated the past 24 hours to get thoughts going.
1. 55 million Instagram users migrated in 24 hours to Threads with a single prompt generated by social buzz, not really understanding why or what the value proposition is beyond the ‘Twitter Killer’ memes, which highlights:
· The significant role social media plays in influencing society’s behavior
· The role of user’s intention in adopting a new product
2. 10 second onboarding— Threads introduced a genuine innovation in ecosystem design that deserves applause. Many companies would love to have such a streamlined onboarding experience. This raises the question we haven’t we explore leveraging Open Banking or healthcare systems in a similar fashion?
The New (Yet to be Released):
1. Auto-Status for Seamless Sharing— Threads leverages device sensors to automatically detect a user’s location, movement and battery level, generating an automatic status update that allows sharing general context about one’s day without revealing specific details due to privacy concerns. This feature adds a touch of serendipity to conversations and encourages spontaneous interactions.
2. Our daily lexicon was expanded literally overnight with the new verb 🙂
The ‘Watch This Space’:
1. Privacy concerns—Although available in the United States and 100 other countries, Threads is notably absent in European Union member states due to the complexities in complying with upcoming laws. Including the Digital Markets Act aimed at curbing dominance of the Big Tech, including Meta with fines of <10% of global revenues for non-compliance.
2. Making communication more authentic—Threads brings new features to the market, such as the ability to convey one’s current mood, enabling friends to quickly understand each other’s availability and emotional state. These features promote mindfulness and consideration in communication, which I have been advocating for
The Big Questions:
1. Migrating 2 billion Instagram Users: Can Threads successfully migrate Insta users to embrace threaded communication through text, rather than primarily relying on visual communication?
2. Ethical Data Collection: Can Threads ensure ethical data collection to enable enhanced usability? It is worth noting that the app goes beyond Meta’s ordinary data gathering by delving into more sensitive realms, encompassing biometric data, sexual orientation, and ethnic information.