Brands trying to be funny and annoying millennials: Inside the messy first day of Threads

I’ve already had to block Ellen Degeneres

Twitter is in crisis. It is on fire, actually. And Elon Musk is pouring petrol on it as we speak. After the worst week in Twitter history, what better time for Mark Zuckerberg and Meta to declare the arrival of Threads, an Instagram linked answer to Twitter singing its siren song to everyone who needs respite from Twitter and its cesspit of transphobia, bootlicking and racism. At the stroke of midnight today, Threads launched to the world. I woke up and set myself up, like 11.3 million users before me – Instagram gives you the exact user number you are when you boot it up – and off we went. I’ve messed around with Threads for the best part of 10 hours now – here are my first impressions.

First of all, it’s ugly

I’m not shallow, but it’s true. Unfortunately, Threads is ugly.  A big clunky white mess. Or that weird sort of navy / black /grey hybrid you get on dark mode. It’s easy to set up – especially if you have it linked to your Instagram. You handle, bio and blue tick if you’ve earned (or bought) one all move straight over with you. You can follow everyone you already follow on Insta with a push of a button. I woke up to a load of follow requests from my Instagram followers before I’d even set Threads up yet. It’s nice to begin a new social media journey and not feel like you’re fully starting from scratch.

But back to the ugly. One of the glaringly bad first impressions of day one of Threads is the app has inexplicably launched without a following feed. There isn’t a way for you to just see content from the people you’ve decided to follow. This means your main feed will be awash with literally the most shite, millennial crap you could ever wish to see. You can mute and block people, but you’d get repetitive strain injury.

Brands are being pure evil

So far I’ve seen Greggs and JD Sports try their absolute hardest to be comedy gold. Greggs posted “Roses are red, Threads are new, we like sausage rolls and we know you do too”. That’s a verbatim quote. This is the kind of FODDER we’re sifting through as everyone tries to have their little viral moment. I don’t want to see JD Sports jangling for a giggle, I want to see my mates.

Weirdest algorithm dump I’ve got so far is three tweets from The Walking Dead accounts? The show has ended and I’ve never followed any of you on any social media in my life? Why are you swarming me like Walkers with engagement bait? May I be freed from this hell?

Random celebs will be all over your feed

After Ellen Degeneres posted “WELCOME TO GAY TWITTER” she had the honour of becoming the first account I have ever blocked on Threads. I hope she’s pleased with herself.

It’s too millennial

It’s full of that corner of Twitter who say “YOU SIR JUST WON THE INTERNET” and have posted their first Thread like “hey, anybody there – how does this thing work?” Twitter is pure evil but we need its ahead of the curve humour to come over ASAP or I’m going to disengage. One of the biggest first impressions of Threads so far is how damn mumsy it is.

If you want to delete your Threads account, your Instagram goes with it

Yep. Quite a savvy way for Meta to make sure they’ve got consistent users signed up if it flops, because the amount of people willing to delete both on one swift click is probably slim. Feels like a big commitment but I’ve sold the rest of my life away to social media I can’t really take umbrage with this too.

No TERFs or racists… yet

The nicest thing about Threads so far and one of the first impressions that makes me breathe a sigh of relief is that there’s no transphobia, Elon Musk fanboys or racists in sight. Sifting through the beggy celebs and annoying brands results in wholesome content from my friends, from other LGBTQ people and there’s genuinely a sense of hopefulness and excitement over a big launch for a new social media. It genuinely feels like this could be a disruptor, but there’s also a cynical feeling that this is going to be a fad.

I’ll take some halcyon days of no Twitter Blue monsters. Devs have confirmed they’re working on a following feed and more features to add to Threads soon – even saying “maybe direct messages”. That’s one of the craziest maybes I’ve read in a long time, because surely that would have been something people would want as a matter of urgency?

What do we call posts?

If you’re on Twitter, you tweet. You tweeted, or you’re tweeting. If you’re on Threads, are you threading? Do you thread? Have you threaded? It’s all a bit unclear, and not catchy. I need some clarification.

There are kinks to iron out, it’s glitchy as hell and nobody knows if they can do a Twitter and get their cock out on main or if the Meta gods will put them in socials jail for it – but as a launch day with millions of users signing up, Threads feels in pretty good shape. The interest is high, the appetite is there – it now just remains to be seen if it will stay that way.

Anyway, if you’re so inclined to keep up with all my threading, get onto my threads: @harrisonjbrock.

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