Today marks the formal debut of Threads app, a new social media platform that Meta has been developing as a Twitter substitute.
The app is positioned as a “friendly” alternative to the faltering social media network controlled by Elon Musk, Meta has debuted its long-awaited rival to Twitter.
Users can make messages up to 500 characters long on the “text-based conversation app” called Threads, which also allows them to attach links, images, and videos. The posts can receive responses, likes, and shares, just like on Twitter.
After the app’s launch on Wednesday, Zuckerberg claimed via his personal Threads account that 10 million users had joined up in the first seven hours.
Twitter has lurched from crisis to crisis since the billionaire purchased it for $44 billion in October, infuriating users and major advertisers while teetering on the brink of insolvency.
Healthier Alternative to Twitter
In a post published on Wednesday, Zuckerberg promoted Threads as a healthier alternative to Twitter.
Academics and activists have long expressed concern that Meta does not adequately monitor its Facebook and Instagram platforms, but over time, Meta has tightened its standards and made more of an investment in moderation.
The launch occurs as Musk, in contrast, has loosened Twitter’s policy on moderation, driving away dozens of advertisers and cutting its $5 billion in yearly earnings by 50%.
Because of Musk’s attitude on moderation and the launch of a $8/month subscription service with some capabilities that were previously free, some Twitter users have looked for alternatives to the platform.
In its quest for development, Meta is notorious for copying features supplied by competing platforms. Most famously, this was the case when it introduced “Instagram Stories” as a knockoff of the disappearing vertical video snippets first made popular by smaller rival Snap.
However, Threads’ unique selling point is its integration with Instagram, which enables users to quickly build a network by bringing over their current usernames and followers from the photo app.
According to several users, this managed to avoid the “cold start” issue that affects new social platforms by bringing the website to life as soon as they joined up.
Higher Levels of Post Engagement
Unlike early versions of Twitter, which displayed all tweets in chronological order, Threads debuted with an algorithmic timeline that prioritises messages with higher levels of engagement and sporadically displays postings from users who are not already following them.
Though many firms have jumped on the new platform, Threads appears to have little, if any, paid advertisements at launch.
Due to a lack of clarity on new regulations in the EU, Meta decided not to initially launch the app in the region, which is its second-largest revenue area.
The action intensifies the rivalry between the two most well-known billionaires in Silicon Valley. Musk stated on his platform last month that he was “up for a cage match” with Zuckerberg, who has recently changed his image to include a passion for ju-jitsu. Zuckerberg seemed to be up for the task. It’s uncertain whether and when the competition will happen.
The World Wide Web Consortium’s open social networking protocol ActivityPub will be compatible with Threads, according to a statement released by Meta on Wednesday. As a result, users would eventually be able to move their followers and content from Threads to other apps based on the ActivityPub protocol, such as Mastodon and WordPress.
The company hopes that by joining the rapidly expanding ecosystem of interoperable services, Threads will help users locate their community regardless of the app they use.