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Threads is Great...for Now
Meta's new toy is pulling in disgruntled Beer Twitter and other Twitter users
Last Wednesday Meta (the parent company of Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp) moved up the launch of their competitive offering to Twitter called Threads. It’s a dumb name but all social media names are dumb. At the time of writing this the network has amassed over 100 million sign ups. Not a small number for those doing the math.
Very quickly disgruntled Twitter users, including many celebrities and businesses, jumped on board the new shiny toy. Since Elno’s purchase of Bird App last year large swathes of users have signaled issues with a more right wing extreme take on rules and moderation. Many other platforms have tried to be the new alternative like Mastodon, Post News, Counter Social and even the Notes feature here on Substack. Bluesky, a Twitter alternative created by for Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, was seen as a real possible replacement but it’s months long waiting list for sign ups stunted growth when people really wanted out of their old relationship with Twitter. Threads just came along and scooped up those people quicker than you can say “fuck Elon.”
At its core Threads works just like Twitter. You follow people that you want to follow and people make small little posts about whatever. You like them, repost them or comment on them. The first couple days was a breathe of fucking fresh air. Bots were minimal, because you needed an Instagram account to sign up, and shitlords were nearly nonexistent as they stayed on Twitter paying their $11 a month in support of their moron internet dad. I only blocked Matt Gaetz early on. I felt a whole lot less existential dread scroll through threads than I have on Twitter in a quite awhile.
Many folks from the circles I follow came over including beer and photography folks. It also seemed like companies took the opportunity of a new platform to try out some different stuff. Companies with often prim and proper images became a little less high strung creating a character of sorts with a more playful, even edgy, mood. As a person who is pretty often a curmudgeon towards Meta and its family of apps I was having a good time, especially with the work profile. But I’m no dummy. I know this won’t last forever.
Facebook and Instagram are shells of their former selves. What started out as communities that were sort of bulletin boards amongst friends to share what was going on are now ad machines masquerading as what got them popular. A business can’t even reach it’s full audience of followers without paying the social overlords a fee to boost your post. This is to just reach people who have already opted in to following your company let alone trying to draw in new business. With that it’s only a matter of time before Threads starts implementing ads, boosting options and cutting your reach at the knees. But this isn’t to say that I don’t think anyone, business or personal, shouldn’t join Threads.
If you are a business or a creative person that uses a personal account to get your work out there I think it’s a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor to something. You can try to reestablish a connection with followers you already had from Instagram that may not be seeing your stuff because of the all powerful algorithm. You can also reach new audiences, while the algorithms let you, by participating in conversations with people that aren’t just angry white men yelling at you. Build your audience while you can and then mediate the breakdown of reach when that other shoe drops. It will be much easier to build now than it will later.
It is also an opportunity to try something different. Like I mentioned before, a number of businesses are taking on a different approach to voice with Threads than they do for their other social platforms. Following brands like Old Bay and Wawa have been a lot of fun. This is a real chance to interact with your followers in a different way that you may have said was too risky for your Instagram or Facebook. See what sticks.
Threads isn’t going to be for everyone. My wife almost immediately told me that she wasn’t signing up. I didn’t expect her to. She doesn’t have a Twitter and doesn’t understand its appeal so it’s just natural that Threads wouldn’t be for her but I have seen some people trying out Threads that never gave Twitter a shot. I’ve also seen people on Threads that haven’t been on Twitter for years and seemingly enjoying themselves. I know not all of them will stick. Many will try it and feel overwhelmed and never login again. That’s fine but I, for one, am looking forward to a slightly less toxic environment on the internet for however long we got.
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I’d Have a Beer
Earlier this year New Belgium announced some major changes to its longtime flagship beer, Fat Tire. Not only was the brand getting a fresh new coat of paint but the recipe, for the beer itself, was getting changed. And in a pretty substantial way.
Gone was the Belgian Amber Ale of old and in was a golden ale. Of course people argued over this.
“They shouldn’t have changed it.”
”I’ll miss the old beer.”
”If it’s a different recipe how is it Fat Tire?”
”Have you seen my keys?”
Mostly all valid questions and concerns. Unfortunately I had yet to try the new rendition of the classic until last week.
First off, this can is beautiful. A simple and clean design with a hella old school vibe to it. You can’t really see in the picture but it also has a golden top to it that lends even more nostalgic nods to it. Most cans we see have just plain aluminum tops. It’s a small touch but does some much lifting. But almost everyone universally agrees that the design refresh is stellar. What about the beer?
In short, it’s great. I was never a big fan of the original Fat Tire. The style just wasn’t my bag. I would drink it for sure, like the many times it was included in a variety pack where the other beers were what I wanted, but I never sought it out after my initial time having it. This, however, is exceptional. I saw many say that it still contained some flavor notes from the previous recipe and, I’m sorry, I don’t get them. This is just a really well made blonde/golden ale. Crisp and clean body with some light grainy/cereal like flavors and a subtle noble hop character. I would go back for this beer a lot. It also really hit the spot for grilling on July 4th when it was the hottest day in the history of the world.
At the end of the day people who were big Fat Tire fans are going to miss the beer they once loved. I feel like New Belgium kind will too. It’s what put them on the map but over 50% drop in sales since 2016 meant they needed to try something crazy or potentially say goodbye to Fat Tire all together.
This is a Photo
Heading back to California for this week’s photo. This one was captured at the Oakland Zoo. I’m a big fan of zoos and this one is beyond good. There is a section completely dedicated to California native species that you take a ski lift style gondola up to. On the way up I noticed some buffalo on the hill and was super stoked. These giants are some of my favorite animals in the world. Once up top there was areas for grizzly bears, grey wolves and even condors but I just had to see more of the buffalo. What a treat to see such magnificent creatures with an amazing view to boot.
Do you like my shots? I have prints available for purchase if you are interested. All sales are super appreciated.
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