The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg has launched a new social media platform called “Threads” to rival Twitter, owned by Elon Musk.
Experts speculate that Threads which was launched on Thursday, July 6, 2023, could attract Twitter users who are dissatisfied with recent changes to the platform.
Threads, which currently excludes the European Union, offers users the ability to post up to 500 characters and shares many features with Twitter.
According to Zuckerberg, the app garnered five million sign-ups within its first four hours. He emphasized the importance of maintaining a friendly platform as a key factor for success.
However, Elon Musk countered by stating that being criticized by strangers on Twitter is preferable to the illusory happiness of Instagram.
“It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram,” Musk said.
When asked about the possibility of Threads surpassing Twitter in popularity, Zuckerberg stated that while it may take time, he believes there should be a public conversations app with over one billion users, a feat Twitter has not yet accomplished.
“It’ll take some time, but I think there should be a public conversations app with 1 billion+ people on it. Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it. Hopefully, we will,” Zuckerberg said when asked on Threads whether the app will be “bigger than Twitter”,
Critics of Threads have raised concerns about the app’s potential data usage, including health, financial, and browsing data linked to users’ identities, as reported by the Apple App Store.
Although Threads is available for download in over 100 countries, including the UK, it has yet to launch in the EU due to regulatory apprehensions.
How does Threads work?
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, refers to Threads as an “initial version” and plans to introduce additional features, including the ability to interact with users on other social media platforms such as Mastodon.
Meta stated that its vision for Threads is to build upon Instagram’s strengths and expand them to text-based content.
Despite being a stand-alone app, Threads requires users to log in using their Instagram accounts. Their Instagram usernames carry over to Threads, but users have the option to customize their profiles specifically for the app.
Meta claims that users can choose to follow the same accounts they follow on Instagram. While privacy can be maintained on Instagram, Threads allows users to be public.
Threads enable users to share posts to Instagram and vice versa, including links, photos, and videos up to five minutes in length.
However, some early users reported difficulties uploading images, suggesting initial technical challenges.
Users see a feed of posts, referred to as “threads” by Meta, from accounts they follow, as well as recommended content.
They have control over who can mention them and can filter out replies containing specific words. Users can also unfollow, block, restrict, or report other profiles, with Instagram blocks automatically applying to Threads as well.
Although Meta emphasizes the connection to Instagram, media coverage has primarily focused on Threads’ similarities to Twitter, with some investors considering it a potential “Twitter killer.”
Since Elon Musk took over Twitter, many users have publicly expressed their dissatisfaction with the platform and his stewardship – citing erratic behaviour and political views.
Last Saturday, Musk restricted the number of tweets users could see on his platform per day, citing extreme “data scraping”. He was accused of pushing users to sign up for Twitter Blue, the platform’s subscription service.
KanyiDaily recalls that the two tech moguls, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, recently agreed to settle their differences in a highly anticipated ‘cage match’ fight.