Threads and Taiwan’s Presidential Election

While Threads in North America feels like everyone is experiencing a gas leak, that is apparently not the case elsewhere — especially Taiwan.

Zeyi Yang wrote, for MIT Technology Review, an excellent explanation of Threads’ popularity, and I think the bloggier summary is a particularly good read:

But more important, Taiwan’s presidential election earlier this year means there was a lot to talk, debate, and commiserate about. Starting in November, many supporters of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) “gathered to Threads and used it as a mobilization tool,” Wang says. “Even DPP presidential candidate Lai received more interaction on Threads than Instagram and Facebook.”

It turns out that even though Meta has tried to position Threads as a less political version of X, what actually underpinned its success in Taiwan was still the universal desire to talk about politics.

Call this a robust counterargument to the way Threads has felt to me for most of the time I have used it. There is, it would seem, a big audience in Taiwan that has found it valuable — so long as Meta does not muck it up.