Can the Ducks stitch together a winner on Threads?
Nobody in the Pac-12 did Twitter like Oregon. But can the Ducks keep their lead in a new era of social media?
July is a good month for Ian McFarland.
McFarland is an assistant athletic director at the University of Oregon, and you’ve most likely seen his work come across the Oregon athletic department’s Twitter account: @GoDucks.
It’s the most popular in the Pac-12 — by a wide margin — and McFarland runs it. But July is a month that allows this North Texas grad time to actually enjoy the perks of the Northwest. Spring sports are done. The windup for football is a few weeks away. There’s actually time to disconnect and get away from the every-second-of-every-day news cycle of social media.
It’s coast season, baby!
Or it should be. But, well, Threads.
Threads, a new social media platform from Mark Zuckerberg and Meta, launched somewhat unexpectedly last week as a competitor to Twitter. For those blissfully unaware, Twitter has more or less turned into a hellscape since its change of ownership. Basic functionality of the site teeters daily, users are fleeing and its tough to spend much time on the platform without coming across something that’s objectively offensive or disturbing or leaves you wondering why you still compulsively check this thing on the daily.
For most, the destruction of the internet’s public square has provided some decent water cooler fodder and relatively low-impact in day-to-day life.
But for McFarland?
“Personally? I’ve been a bit concerned because this is how I pay my bills,” he said. “You wake up every morning and it’s like, ‘Why is engagement down? Why are we losing followers? What’s going on?’”
And it means something for Oregon. The Ducks dominated what we’re going to call the “Twitter Era” of college football. When combining the total followers of each Pac-12’s main football account and primary athletic department accounts, Oregon’s 1.04 million followers is more than double anyone else in the conference — including three times larger than USC’s total following of 320,000.