Did Meta Build The Web3 Version Of Twitter?
Threads: Zuck’s New Invention
GM DOers! 😎
Seems like Mark Zuckerberg decided to stir up some post-4th of July fireworks by launching a near-identical version of Twitter. 🎆
Meta’s brand new, shiny platform is called Threads – after the famous Twitter feature (which we sometimes use at Web3 Academy 😏) – and everyone rushed to check it out.
Threads dropped on the 5th of July in 100 countries (excluding the EU due to regulatory concerns) and here’s what it basically is:
Despite Twitter being a much better platform than its replica, Threads was destined to gain success. Afterall, Meta has billions of people to market to.
Therefore, the signups went crazy in the first few hours.
At the time of writing, the number of users on Threads hovers around 100 Million. 🤯
This stat crowns Threads as the fastest downloaded app in history.
Did you try Threads yet? Reply to this email with a Yes or NO and let us know.
Now… You may think to yourself: Why on earth would Web3 Academy write about a new web2 social media app?
First of all, this is a new social network gaining 100 Million users in its first week. It's a big deal for any creator or founder, and we think you should know about it.
Second of all, we’ve spent hours using it already and we want to tell you what the opportunity is for you to build a following on Threads.
Finally, and most importantly, it all boils down to interoperability. Threads is designed on fediverse, a protocol that allows you to claim ownership of your followers and take them along as you hop across platforms.
Sounds a lot like the decentralized social media (e.g., Lens Protocol) we have in web3 today, right? But does this mean Meta is dabbling in web3 for this project?
Let’s find out. But first, let’s talk about the feud between Elon and Zuck. 🍿
👉 Lens Protocol: The Future of Social Media
Decentralized social media finally allows creators to own their content, data and followers. That’s why we choose to build part of our media platform on Lens Protocol.
The Elon vs Zuck Rumble 🥊
The world found out about the launch of Threads on June 21st, when Mario Nawfal broke the news in a tweet.
In this, Meta’s Chief Product Officer stated that the new app is a response to Twitter’s poor management since Elon took over, saying creators & public figures need “a platform that is sanely run."
Elon then replied:
And before you know it, a cage fight was suggested. 😳
Zuckerberg responded to Elon’s call-out on Instagram by writing “send me location” on his story, referring to the famous quote from Khabib.
Fast forward a few weeks, and Elon tweets that the fight might happen in the Colosseum.
While this all feels like one big inside joke, knowing Elon, we wouldn't put it past him to make it happen. 😂
In all seriousness, the battle between Elon and Zuck is more than just a potential cage match. Twitter's legal counsel, Alex Spiro, delivered a letter to Zuckerberg, threatening legal action and accusing Meta of hiring former Twitter staff to replicate their platform.
Elon condemned this as cheating, affirming he's all for competition as long as it's fair play.
The frustration from Elon is palpable. He shelled out a whopping $44 Billion on Twitter only to see it copied outright. 🤯
Alright, enough with the cage fights and courtroom battles. Let's dive into the protocol that serves as the foundation for Threads - that's what we're all here for, right?
What Is Fediverse? 🌐
The 'fediverse', a blend of 'federation' and 'universe', represents a network of interlinked, independent social media platforms.
Unlike traditional centralized networks, these platforms allow seamless cross-platform interactions, enabling activities like tweeting from Facebook or liking an Instagram post from Twitter (if these platforms were all built on the same protocol).
If you’ve used Lens, this will make a lot of sense to you.
This is obviously impossible in today’s web2 social landscape. However, Meta aims to build this standard, starting by linking Instagram and Threads. 🔗
Note: Threads isn't built on the fediverse just yet. The team admitted to postponing this aspect due to complications during the launch phase.
However, we believe that Meta rushed the launch of Threads because they wanted to take advantage of Elon limiting Twitter users, which we agree is too good of an opportunity to pass on. 🔥
As a consequence, Threads is now a prematurely launched app that has lots of limitations (it’s basically Twitter in 2010).
But let's pivot back to the fediverse and unpack the nitty-gritty of interoperability.
Fediverse: Is It Web3? And What Problems Does It Solve? 🤔
Adam Mosseri (Head of Instagram) says that allowing users to take their audience with them to another server is a focus for the company.
Although this commitment to full social graph portability is impressive, we need to emphasize - this isn't web3.
The fediverse might be interoperable, but it doesn't mean it's decentralized or web3 in any way. The old habits of data collection and selling it to advertisers are still Meta's MO. It's simple: you, the user, continue to be the product.
Here's a peek at what data Meta collects:
And here’s what Zuck can do with your data.
Furthermore, you can’t delete your Threads account without deleting your Instagram. And that’s a big red flag. 🚩
However, the interoperability component is HUGE. Why?
For starters, because starting from scratch is really annoying. That’s why we love Lens Protocol. Regardless of which app you use, your followers go with you and you own your content.
It's why email is still the king. 👑 If your email provider shuts down, you can simply take your list of emails and shift your followers/community to another platform.
This leads us into the second point: getting deplatformed.
Fun (actually sad) fact: Raul’s Twitter account was suspended. The reason? Your guess is as good as ours. Twitter simply responded that Raul violated the rules. We don’t even know which rules because Raul hasn’t used his Twitter in months.
This is a risk that many face today. If Web3 Academy’s Twitter gets taken down, we’re screwed. A big part of our community is there and we’d lose it all if Elon decides to shut us off.
That's the problem the fediverse (and web3 social media) helps tackle by letting you carry your followers across platforms. 🌐
While the fediverse is not web3, it bears a striking resemblance – and we consider that a win. How so?
Because the advantages of privacy, decentralization & owning your social graph are obvious. Plus, the tech is available, and many builders recognize it.
But do the users care? — Not really.
Social media is all about the dopamine highs. TikTok's success, despite its aggressive data exploitation, is testament to that.
But the perspectives are turning, and the world's largest social media company is betting big on "decentralized" tech. I’m putting decentralized in quotations because what Meta’s building is obviously not decentralized.
It underscores the significance of these issues today, and users will get around to this eventually.
More than ever, it's clear that the next big phase of the internet will be decentralized, putting power back into the hands of users!
And once that narrative becomes clear as day, web3 see MASSIVE adoption.
By reading this, you’re EXTREMELY early. So, how can YOU capitalize on the opportunity? Let's dive in. Keep scrolling! 👇
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Wrapping Up: What’s The Opportunity? 🚀
If the largest social media company (Meta) is building a new platform, you can’t fade it away.
Neglecting an opportunity like this is acceptable BUT ONLY if you've spent a moment analyzing its worth. 🧐
Dismissing it outright due to unfamiliarity or initial disinterest, however, is hardly a wise approach in this ever-evolving world.
With that said, I think that Threads will be successful long-term. And there are 3 reasons for that: