From Twitter to Threads: 3 creative ways to use this app as a student

social media benefits to students
Meta's new social media app, Threads, is built by the Instagram team, for sharing text updates and joining public conversations. Source: AFP

What are the social media benefits to students?

The answer is that there are plenty.

Nowadays, it’s easy to pick up a new skill, master new languages, and make new friends through the Internet. 

But perhaps one of the biggest social media benefits to students is you get to learn from the most respected professors on YouTube.

While some are fortunate to attend Ivy League unis, others can’t.

Ivy Leagues refer to private institutions in the US, such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, known for their elite and prestigious reputation — and astronomical fees.

The average undergraduate tuition fees at Ivy League schools can go up to US$57,509 compared to other unis, which cost US$26,290 on average.

Luckily, the best YouTube channels have videos where you can get great insight from the top minds from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford, and Columbia University — for free.

Likewise, there are many valuable insights you can gain from Twitter too.

  • Twitter user Barsee (who goes by the handle @heyBarsee) tweeted about all you need to know about quantum computers.
  • Twitter user Jas Singh (who goes by the handle @TheJas Singh) tweeted about an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that combines Photoshop, Midjourney, and Canva.
  • Twitter user Hasan Toor (who goes by the handle @hasantoxr) tweeted seven websites that offer free certification courses to accelerate your career.
  • If you’re a student struggling to balance a hectic schedule, medical doctor Pranav Gajria tweeted three reasons behind the constant exhaustion and ways to combat fatigue.

Recently, there’s a new social media app in town called Threads — and it’s set to bring more social media benefits to students.

Just a few hours after it launched, Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, made his debut on the app to announce that more than 10 million users have created new accounts on this social media platform. 

But what’s Threads and what are its social media benefits to students?

What is Meta’s new social media app Threads? 

Threads positions itself as a social media app where people can have real-time, public conversations with one another. It also boosts Instagram, which is a line of apps in Meta’s family of products. 

“The idea is to hopefully build an open, friendly space for communities,” Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, said in an interview with the New York Times. 

Threads allows users to interact with friends and creators aligned with their interests, much like Instagram. 

For now, those interested in signing up for the new app are required to have an Instagram account. A user’s Instagram handle must also be their Threads user name.

Once on board, Threads offers a choice: carry over existing profile details like your bio and profile picture from Instagram or embark on a fresh start with a new profile on Threads. 

What’s more, Threads doesn’t impose a following list for you. Users can either opt for an automatic following of their Instagram friends or manually select whom they’d like to follow on Threads.

Here’s one catch: If you choose to delete your Threads account, you would have to delete your Instagram account as well.

social media benefits to students

The European Commission (EC) is expected to give more guidance on the Digital Markets Act in September. Source: AFP

Where can I download Threads? 

Meta’s new social media app is not available in all regions. 

Certain areas, including the European Union, will initially be excluded as Meta navigates the data-sharing regulations between Threads and its Instagram app, according to Bloomberg

It all boils down to the guidance concerning the Digital Markets Act, a set of EU competition regulations that dictates the operational dynamics of large online platforms. The European Commission (EC) is expected to give more guidance in September. 

A Meta spokesperson stated that while the company plans to launch Threads in over 100 countries, with more in the pipeline, it refrains from revealing the entire list. The commission’s representative did not comment on Meta’s private business decisions. 

Students in this region will likely have to wait until the EC releases more guidelines about the Digital Markets Act or continue using Twitter until the Instagram-linked Twitter alternative is available in the app stores.

social media benefits to students

Threads has a lot of similar features to Twitter, such as the ability to post text-based messages to a scrolling feed. Source: AFP

Similarities and differences to Twitter: How to make the most of the latest social media benefits to students

Threads is nearly identical to Twitter in many ways. Users post mostly text-based messages to a scrolling feed, where people who follow them or whom they follow can reply. 

Threads, like Twitter, allows users to share short text posts that others can react to, reshare, and comment on, with the exclusion of a direct messaging function. 

The application enables posts containing up to 500 characters and includes links, images, and videos of up to five minutes in length.

At the time of writing, Threads has not incorporated the use of hashtags, a vital feature for veteran Twitter users.

Currently, a keyword search on Threads yields only users holding accounts on the platform. However, given Threads’ nascent stage, it’s no surprise that more Twitter-like integrations are likely in the pipeline.

Mosseri mentioned that more features are coming and waiting to be released in the coming months. 

Interestingly, Meta has decided not to incorporate ads into Threads for the foreseeable future, reminiscent of Twitter’s path. 

Last October, Elon Musk acquired Twitter for a staggering US$44 billion. Yet, its value plummeted drastically following significant advertiser withdrawals amidst severe staff reductions and content moderation controversies. 

social media benefits to students

You’re on the phone all the time, so why not gain some social media benefits to students? Source: AFP

More social media benefits to students: 3 ways you can use to learn and connect better

1. Learn from your favourite community of friends and creators — no ads! 

Threads allows you to interact with friends and creators aligned with your interest.

Since Meta has decided not to incorporate ads with this social media platform, there’s no better time to come into this space.

While ads have helped businesses reach their target audiences, it meant that much of a social media platform could be cluttered with unnecessary content that clogs up a platform.

Think back to the early days of social media, where we could connect with friends, family, and like-minded individuals that you might not have met in person.

Threads, however similar it is to Twitter, could be a new space that brings us back to relieve those moments.

2. Discussion with global leaders and friends 

Threads is set to have as many as over one billion people on it. Over the past week, Mosseri shared that 100 million people have created new accounts on Threads.

Some big names include the Daila Lama, Ellen DeGeneres, and the Kardashians.

Four of the 15 richest figures, according to Forbes’ estimates, have signed up for the service with verified accounts, including Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg.

Other famous billionaires like Mark Cuban and Richard Branson have also signed up.

Imagine the kind of debates and conversations that can happen here once Threads goes global. Join them or just watch from the sidelines — either way, you can learn a lot to help you out with finding ideas for your essays and even your own passion projects.

Since its launch, most creators have still been figuring out how to properly use Threads — but the numbers show that many are excited with the potential exciting discussions that can take place within the app.

3. Continue to learn more about the app before the Fediverse arrives 

Threads’s goal is to seamlessly integrate with apps within the Fediverse. 

According to Meta, a fediverse (a play on the words federation and universe) is a “social network of different servers operated by third parties that are connected and can communicate with each other.” 

To understand this, we’ll break down two concepts: a centralised and decentralised platform.

Centralised platforms like Twitter compile all interactions — like tweets, likes, or reposts — on one platform. A decentralised platform is the opposite: it is an interconnected web of social media sites.

In Meta’s vision, Threads is one of those sites within the fediverse.

If it all works out, Thread users can communicate with users on a different social media ecosystem within the fediverse, even if they have not created a Threads account. 

For marketing students, jumping on the bandwagon allows you to track how Threads develops in the coming months and gives you a picture of this new social media app that fits the bigger picture. 

social media benefits to students

Will Threads outshine Twitter as the go-to platform for public conversations? Source: AFP

Staying with Twitter: Are there any social media benefits to students still?

The good news is that Twitter is still here to stay. 

Twitter is still great for creating a topical discussion feed.

By tweeting articles and ideas about the subjects you’re studying, you can engage thought leaders and debate more casually without the social pressure of an academic environment. 

What’s more, Threads is still not available for download in certain regions and it will take time for the new social media app to unseat Twitter as the go-to app for real-time, public conversations.

Still, Meta has at least one significant advantage on Twitter: the size of its existing user base, which is about more than two billion global active Instagram users compared to Twitter’s 250 million. 

“It’ll take some time, but I think there should be a public conversations app with one billion+ people on it,” Zuckerberg said in a Threads post. 

“Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it. Hopefully, we will.”

To truly replace Twitter, Meta has to work to prevent spam, harassment, conspiracy theories, and false claims on Threads — issues that have discouraged users from using Twitter.