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Big Ten Football Teams Join Twitter Competitor “Threads” On Day One...Except Two Rivals

Everyone, quick! Go join a new social media app!

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Illinois
The prize for being online last!
Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Since Elon Musk began his campaign to destroy Twitter as a social media platform, those of us who have become accustomed to the unparalleled experience of Sports Twitter have been searching for its successor.

Currently, the most viable alternative is Off Tackle Empire, whose commenting system, though worse than the system it replaced last year, can still be configured to be usable for game threads. Its main limitation is its limited population, but we have toiled night and day to try to ameliorate this drawback.

We joined Mastodon shortly after it was pitched as an alternative back in November, but Sports Mastodon never really materialized. This doesn’t mean Mastodon was fundamentally worthless, but as a successor to Sports Twitter (which will absolutely not survive college football season the way that Musk keeps breaking the site) it just never had any juice. We’ve been on BlueSky’s waitlist longer than LincolnParkWildcat has been working on the rec script, so it’s hard to imagine that gaining the specific kind of mass necessary for Sports Twitter to happen there.

Enter Mark Zuckerberg, himself a very evil man but one with a proven track record of buying successful ventures and an understanding that being openly antagonistic makes him less marketable. He’ll never admit that his company cooked up the fake numbers behind the “Pivot To Video” debacle in a deliberate attempt to kill off as many publications as he could lead off a cliff, and he burned untold billions of investor dollars to make a worse version of Second Life that was connected to real companies, but I’m sure even he recognized the gaping hole Musk had opened up in the social media market.

Thus, he launched “Threads,” an Instagram-based competitor to Twitter. In contrast to the other competitors I’ve mentioned, many sports figures and institutions joined on Day 1, including your favorite sports blog on the entire internet. Find us @offtackleempire.

Big Ten football teams joined up as well! By roughly hour six or so, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin and...rutger had all joined up in an official capacity. Unlike Twitter, “Verified” status on Threads just means “this is the organization/person their profile leads you to believe they are,” not “this person’s crypto/NFT portfolio is down bad and they’re taking it out on marginalized groups.”

Overnight, Iowa, Minnesota and Maryland joined the fray, leaving only two stragglers as of the publication of this article:

Illinois and Northwestern.

That’s right, the BATTLE FOR THE LOLHAT is now emerging on Threads, and it’s not clear who the winner is supposed to be! Northwestern appears to have accounts for several other sports set up, while Illinois has nothing.

Anyway, as currently outfitted, Threads will never be the successor to Sports Twitter because it lacks two features that are vitally important for a gameday experience:

  • Your feed cannot be limited to accounts you follow. It’s not because Zucc thinks he knows you better than you know yourself, it’s because he believes this is too profitable to be offset by how off-putting it is
  • You cannot display posts in chronological order

Also, if you care about your Instagram, there’s a poison pill where deleting your Threads account also deletes your Instagram account. I’d like to round up all the programmers in the college football blog universe to launch an app called PICO, which is short for PICOFOPYF, which stands for Posts In Chronological Order From Only People You Follow. There’s an untapped market of people who want just this feature.


Who actually "wins" this LOLHAT battle?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    The first to join Threads
    (16 votes)
  • 87%
    The last to join Threads
    (113 votes)
129 votes total Vote Now