“Every once in a while, you can sense a ding in the universe!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Threads is here.
Already referred to by many as the “Twitter killer,’ the new social media platform launched by Facebook / Instagram is bound to have a massive impact on the future. You can’t simply take a platform that is said to have 2.35 billion monthly active users and suddenly give them a new social media platform – and not have a massive impact.
Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, launched the much-talked-about platform last night, and by the time you read this, you will already have access. It’s currently a bit of a chaotic mess right now, but have no doubt – this changes everything, even if you don’t use social media.
Social media has empowered people around the world in their pursuit of knowledge and information, has connected families and friends, brought together communities of interest such as scientists and researchers, has given politicians previously unavailable reach, and has allowed corporations and government agencies to reshape how they communicate with the world. It has led to a whole series of new careers, professions, and opportunities: influencers, Youtube stars (reference: Mr. Beast), and social media managers.
At the same time, social media has destroyed politics as we know it, allowed the acceleration of hate, racism, and misogyny, caused untold numbers of problems for organizations, and greatly contributed to a general decrease in civility, courtesy, and respect in society, not to mention the arrival of a new form of social-media based mental illness feeding upon conspiracy theories and misinformation. It has proven to be a cancer upon the populace, feeding into the petty grievances, small minds, and engendered hate that exists within many; we can live in each moment in despair at the destruction it has caused.
And now comes a new tool that promises the opportunity for upwards of 2.35 billion people to join a new service that is bound to do what Twitter has done – provide a new and unique form of interaction both good and bad – and yet do it at a far larger scale. It arrives at an opportune time: for many, Twitter has become a toxic mess, a cesspool of the vile bilge of hatred and a putrid remnant of its’ once interesting self. Elon Musk seems to have done everything he can to prove that you can at one moment be perceived as a business genius and then be exposed as a juvenile idiot. It takes a special skill to take a $44 billion investment and turn it into less than $10 billion within a year, infuriating your advertisers, customers, developers, and supporters all at once. People are sick of both Twitter and its owner; even those who were previously fans are losing interest.
Enter Threads into this vacuum of opportunity.
It arrives at the very moment that people are desperately seeking what they had – a platform that was reliable, stable, carefully moderated, and promised potential opportunity rather than destructive action. Love or hate Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram and Twitter and social media and Elon Musk – our world is changing at a furious speed, and we are all participants, observers, or naysayers.
But have no doubt, we are impacted. As I have been saying for years, the future happens slowly, and then, all at once. This very moment is ‘once.’ You can sense when things change, for good and bad – and one of those moments is right now.
I now have an account over on Threads @firstname.lastname@example.org.
Give me a follow, send me a note, or ignore me completely.