Why does all social media look the same now?

Five identical looking social media platforms on mobile displays
(Image credit: Andy Allen on Twitter)

Yesterday, Meta finally launched its much-touted Twitter competitor, Threads. But you didn't need us to tell you that – the thing has been all over the news and enjoyed over 30M signups in the first 24 hours. Early indicators suggest Threads is a hit – but is social media now reaching peak blandness?

Twitter seems to have existed in a state of constant chaos since Elon Musk took over, with the platform infested with bugs and bad decisions. This has left the door open for a bunch of Twitter rivals to attempt to usurp the hellsite, with Threads perhaps the most likely to succeed. But do they all need to look exactly the same?

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App designer Andy Allen shared (above) an image of five current social media platforms: Threads, Twitter, Bluesky, Mastodon and Post News. And there's no denying that all five appear to share pretty much exactly the same UI. A feed of short text posts, circular profile images and lower menu are all present and correct – indeed, I'd believe you if you told me these were all the same app.

Indeed, it's a far cry from the days of yore when we basically had Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube all offering different experiences for different communities. As Allen notes, "Different tools will create drastically different communities. After 6+ years of broad awareness of social's pitfalls, we should hope for something better. Think of the rich variety of experiences we have in our social lives."

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While one could argue that rival Twitter apps are taking an 'If it ain't broke...' approach – but then again, the whole point is that Twitter supposedly is broke. Is it too much to ask for something new? Given that the Instagram algorithm so aggressively favours short-form, TikTok-esque video these days, we've no doubt creatives would love to see a more visual platform for sharing work – but instead we'll have to make do with 7+ Twitter clones. 

Still, we've been impressed with the launch of Threads – the onboarding process and rich Instagram integration are two not-so-secret weapons that could help it destroy Twitter. If only we could work out what the logo is supposed to be.

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.