Meta’s new platform, Threads, which is a potential competitor for Twitter, has just launched. Even though it’s still very new, we can already gather some insights into its user experience. I couldn’t wait to try out Threads. With the ongoing online meme war between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, it’s been interesting. Also, the question of what could be the next Twitter seems to be on the brink of being answered. Mastodon lacks a good user interface, BlueSky is not open to everyone, and Twitter itself is making some strange changes, like tweet limitations.

Review of Threads UX

First Impressions

Threads teaches us how crucial it is to meet the users’ expectations and match their existing understanding of how things work. A lot of people joined Threads because they were looking for an alternative to a product they already use. So changing the basics of the design or behaviour would be unsettling.

Threads also highlights the importance of branding. At the moment, Meta is treating Threads as an extension of Instagram accounts. When users sign up, they’re encouraged to follow the same people they connect with on Instagram. This keeps the platform from feeling empty, but it’s a bit strange for several reasons.

The people I follow on Instagram and Twitter are different. On Instagram, I follow people I know personally, to keep up with their lives. Twitter, on the other hand, is more unpredictable. I follow all sorts of accounts there, and although there’s a lot of random content and humour, it’s also a great place to get news updates, such as the conflict in Ukraine. So, Threads mixing these two feels a bit off.

Also, if someone you follow on Instagram joins Threads later, they’ll receive an invitation from you. It’s like the system is acting on your behalf, maybe a bit too much. It feels like your mum trying to get a girl’s number for you.

Still, the layout is quite similar to Twitter’s, which made navigating around quite easy (though finding Settings was a bit tricky).

Posts, or should we say threads, also show the number of replies and likes. However, these numbers are placed below the icons, not beside them. This looks cleaner, but I prefer Twitter’s way of keeping things together.

Also, the way they categorise actions is a bit odd. Unfollow and mute are separated from hide and report; wouldn’t hiding be more related to muting and unfollowing than reporting?

Nitpicking Much?

Sure, we’re nitpicking here. It’s easy to criticise a new product. But when it’s a product meant to replace an existing one, comparisons are inevitable. Threads still seems like it’s in testing phase; many features are missing, some pages are blank, and the language isn’t fully developed yet. Plus it really bugs me that there is no desktop version or web version yet. On the bright side:

  • They use consistent capitalisation and punctuation
  • They use clear, simple language
  • They have a good organisational structure


Overall? I think Threads’ success will depend on the quality of user-generated content. That’s how social media works; the users provide the content. If enough people switch over, it could be successful. That doesn’t mean the user experience team can relax; they need to offer a user-friendly platform for creators to share, joke, report, and interact. Let’s wait and see what happens.

Freelance Web Designer Harrogate - marapr6479 2

Post written by: Andrew Backhouse

Andrew Backhouse from Harrogate crafts distinctive websites and logos for Harrogate Businesses and individuals. Check his diverse portfolio and read client praises. Enjoyed the post? Leave a comment or contact Andrew to collaborate.

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