Meta Has No Plans To Monetise Threads This Year

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Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has officially launched Threads. However, despite Meta’s reliance on targeted ads for revenue, the company has no plans to monetise the app this year.

Threads has caused a bit of a stir online, with some declaring that the app will hammer home the final nail in Twitter’s coffin.

But despite the similarities between the apps, and Threads’ launch conveniently coinciding with the Twitter rate limit debacle, Meta said that the app and its release had nothing to do with Twitter.

However, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, told The Verge “Obviously, Twitter pioneered the space,” according to Mosseri. “And there are a lot of good offerings out there for public conversations. But just given everything that was going on, we thought there was an opportunity to build something that was open and something that was good for the community that was already using Instagram.”

The launch had been slated for Friday Australian time but Meta supremo Mark Zuckerberg announced the app on Instagram and Facebook today, causing the grand reveal to feel a bit rushed. At present, the app is fairly bare-bones and almost feels akin to the first version of a product released by a startup. Meta’s priority for Threads at the moment is building a user base and gradually adding features.

Posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos, and videos up to five minutes in length.

Users will see a scrolling feed of posts from the accounts that they follow — with the ability to follow the same accounts on Threads as they do on Instagram — and posts from accounts that they do not follow. As a result, everything is jumbled together, with the algorithm deciding what posts you see — though they still appear in chronological order, unlike Instagram.

There is also no way for users to begin to curate the content served by the algorithm as they can on Facebook or Instagram using the “Not interested” button. This feature is coming, however. As a result, you’ll see a bunch of posts from influencers and internet personalities in the meantime — it’s not the most compelling content.

Hashtags and the ability to search for trending content and news are also missing, at least for the moment. The same content moderation rules that apply on Instagram, apply on Threads, as well.

Such is its focus on building a user base, there are no plans for monetisation or advertising. That lack of monetisation might be a play to bring users on board given that so many clamour for an ad-free experience online.

However, it might also be due to technical quirks that need to be ironed out. Unlike Facebook or Instagram, Meta is working to make Threads compatible with the decentralised ActivityPub protocol used by nascent social media Mastodon, for example.

“Soon, you’ll be able to follow and interact with people on other fediverse platforms, such as Mastodon. They can also find people on Threads using full usernames, such as,” wrote Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, on Threads.

“If you’re wondering why this matters, here’s a reason: you may one day end up leaving Threads, or, hopefully not, end up de-platformed. If that ever happens, you should be able to take your audience with you to another server. Being open can enable that.”

There’s no word on when Threads will be compatible with the protocol but it is being worked on in the background. However, integrating with these might pose problems. Meta has said that Threads is going to function as a window to content available on other platforms, whether it is Mastodon or otherwise.

But these sites also have different data collection and personalisation policies. Squaring that circle — particularly once targeted advertising inevitably arrives — will certainly be challenging. When it comes to content moderation, any posts from other sites that violate Instagram’s (and now Threads’) community guidelines will not show up.

So, that’s it. Threads’ launch was a bit threadbare, to say the least. But, perhaps Meta is unofficially returning to Facebook’s old “Move fast and break things” mantra. For adland, we’ll have to wait and see whether users are swayed by the platform to give it the requisite scale.

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