Twitter vs. Threads: Users are the real losers

When Threads launched on July 5, it reported that it had gained over 100 million organic users in its first five days, and it became clear that the public was interested. The ease of change, the adaptability, and the fact that they didn’t have to learn any new technology was enough to stop them from thinking, “Why choose between bad and worse?”

While we gleefully jumped from platform to platform, taking data from one multi-billionaire and handing it over to another, we missed the real problem. Twitter CEO Elon Musk and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg are winners, but users continue to lose.

The cost of easing the transition for Threads users is in the billions of dollars. But they ignorantly enthusiastically decide to leave the platform where users pay for verification and deal with limits on the number of messages they can read. “Stick it to the man” (by giving it to another…). Who promised that Threads would not implement similar practices, forcing users to either accept the big brother of social media or move to some other platform? Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.

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The teams behind blockchain-based social media and decentralized identity slept through the opportunity to change social networks’ approach to authentication and collaboration beyond profiles and data ownership. only with recent commits Decentralized version of Reddit, we are too late in terms of education and infrastructure to house the homeless twitter displaced. There is nothing more to it than accepting easy, accessible threads. But what exactly are we missing?

Profile portability and data management

Do you need to be able to stay the same no matter what platform and provider you use?

Decentralized ID, or self-sovereign identity, is a form of identity or digital profile. But unlike centralized accounts, the profile and associated data remain under the control of the user. It’s like having a Google or Facebook account and using it to log in to different apps and sites without relying on Google or Facebook as the sole provider and entity to store your data.

If Twitter and Threads used decentralized IDs, moving from one platform to another would be as easy as plugging your USB stick into a new laptop (remember that?) But it isn’t. Why? Zuckerberg thrives on selling data. Twitter doesn’t monetize data to the same extent, but it certainly doesn’t want to give away its data or users to a competitor.

Twitter users worldwide, 2019-2024. Source: Statistics

Self-sovereign identity means no data unless users knowingly submit it to you. But most people won’t do that without paying for the value they provide. Twitter and Threads don’t want to be the losers. As long as they dominate the news space, they give alternative solution No chance to pass. They remained victorious.

Converting most of the Twitter community to threads required a complete reboot and setting up a profile without prior verification, which also led to fraud and liability, Within the Web3 community, which used Twitter as its primary means of communication, scammers took advantage of the opportunity and profiled companies and influencers for their own financial gain. Those users didn’t switch threads – was it their fault?

Should companies and influencers be forced to create placeholder threads profiles as a precaution against fraudsters? In the web2 world, yes. But if only Threads had used self-sovereign identities, users could easily verify that the IDs used to create new profiles belonged to the companies and individuals they claimed to belong to.

community verification

Another reason why users are on the losing side in the battle between Twitter and Threads is central authority. Verification of often arcane requirements and content restriction decisions were in the centralized hands of platform teams led by their CEOs. Decentralized social media offers an alternative.

Platforms That Work Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) Empowering your communities to make decisions about Community Guidelines, such as how to deal with bots and whether or not to flag or ban fake news or trolls.

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When decentralized IDs come into play, decentralized authentication mechanisms will also emerge. With blockchain you can offer users the opportunity to earn reputation points by being active in the community or sharing valuable content. They can earn leadership or board roles and help navigate the platform as the social network grows. It is an alternative to the arcane, centrally designed algorithms used by popular platforms.

The above sounds promising, doesn’t it? So, how do we make it possible?

The battle between Twitter and Threads should be a warning to projects working on decentralized social media and decentralized ID providers to come together, form partnerships, and create self-sovereign, data-appropriated-free alternatives to make the rich even richer. They will not only have to work on the technology, but also show the public that there is another way. One way to do this is by helping users see the value of their data, helping them monetize it, and making it worth the cost of platform hopping. Network effects do the rest and users become the real winners.

caria wei Nuvo is the co-founder. He holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto with a specialization in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship. He is also a Project Management Professional (PMP), AWS Solution Architect and Professional Scrum Master.

This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be legal or investment advice and should not be construed as legal or investment advice. The views, opinions and opinions expressed here are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

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