21 Oct 2021
All of the kool kids in Twitter land seem to be jumping on the bandwagon of a very annoying craze. Twitter threads. Please stop; write a blog post instead.
As someone who has only really started using Twitter in the last few months (as I much prefer Mastodon) I’ve noticed that some people love nothing more than a good thread.
I assume it’s because these people seem to get a tonne of followers off the back of these threads, thus perpetuating the whole thing and forcing more people onto that bandwagon.
That’s a fantastic question, dear reader. Basically, a Twitter thread is a collection of single Tweets that collectively make one story. It’s common to have 10 or more Tweets in a single thread, but some times they get ridiculous.
For example, this thread is 50 Tweets long. Fifty. Tweets. Long!
Anyone who regularly reads my content will know I’ve been blogging for a long time, so I’m always going to be bias. But the issue I really have with these blasted threads boils down to one thing. Context.
Using the example above, I became aware of it because someone that I follow re-tweeted Tweet number 47 in this ridiculously long thread. Because it was a random Tweet in a very long thread, I (and I imagine most other people reading the tweet) had absolutely no context as to what the whole saga was about.
Secondly, Twitter isn’t the right platform for long-form content. If it was, it wouldn’t have a 280 character limit. It’s a micro blogging platform; and as we all know, micro means small.
Surely a much better way of sharing long-form content would be to write a single coherent piece on a blog, then post a link to it on Twitter so your followers can read it in its entirety.
This also has the added benefit of decentralising content away from platforms like Twitter.
But Kev, not everyone knows how to setup a blog!
I know some people on Twitter who post threads regularly. Why can’t these long-form threads become posts on a blog? It would be easier for people to consume, they can still post it on Twitter, and it has the added benefit of potentially creating a whole new audience for the creator.
I’ve seen some really interesting threads on Twitter that are full of useful information, but as a consumer of that content, it’s a nightmare to follow. Content creators should make content as simple to consume as possible.
Maybe I’m just a dinosaur that needs to get with the times. If that’s the case, I’ll continue to die on this hill. I’d much rather own my content, and provide a coherent, easy to consume experience for my readers. Rather than trying to shoehorn a platform into submission just because it’s the cool thing to do, or because it’s the content creator’s preferred platform.
I’ve tried posting a couple of Twitter threads myself, but both times I did it I found it awkward and confusing. Honestly, I don’t get why people do it. For the likes? For the shares?
Help me out here folks. If you’re a serial threader, please help me to understand what I’m missing. You can get in touch below.