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Meta takes aim at Twitter with Threads app, 30 million join

July 7, 2023

More than 30 million users signed up since Wednesday’s launch of Threads, Meta’s “Twitter killer” social media app, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“Wow, 30 million sign ups as of this morning,” Zuckerberg, the Facebook co-founder, wrote on Threads.

Feels like the beginning of something special, but we’ve got a lot of work ahead to build out the app.”

The ambitious plan to take down Twitter still has plenty of obstacles since the popular micro-blogging site numbers more than 368 million users.

Zuckerberg took to Twitter on Wednesday to lob a playful jab at his fellow billionaire, Twitter owner Elon Musk, by posting the well-known meme of Spider-Man facing off against Spider-Man.

Musk’s cash-strapped site has been scrambling to lure back advertisers who have fled following his $44 billion acquisition last fall.

Zuckerberg is looking to pounce as Twitter has tested some users’ patience with a chaotic series of changes, most recently limiting the number of tweets that can be viewed, citing a need to clamp down on bots.

Threads’ arrival comes after Zuckerberg and Musk have traded barbs for months, even threatening to fight each other in a real-life mixed martial arts cage match in Las Vegas.

Musk late Wednesday hit back at Facebook’s sister app, Instagram, which Musk deleted years ago.

“It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram,” the Tesla boss tweeted on Wednesday.

Threads is a text-based app in which users can converse with one another publicly. Unlike Twitter, however, Threads users are unable to send messages directly to each other.

While Threads launched as a standalone app, users can log in using their Instagram credentials and follow the same accounts, potentially making it an easy addition to existing habits for Instagram’s more than 2 billion monthly active users.

“Investors can’t help but be a little excited about the prospect that Meta really has a ‘Twitter-Killer’,” said Danni Hewson, head of financial analysis at investment firm AJ Bell.

In one sticky feature that users may find irksome, however, a Threads account can’t be deleted unless the user also deletes his or her Instagram account.

Zuckerberg is banking on Instagram’s most followed users such as the Kardashian family transitioning to Threads and bringing the masses with them.

 

Meta reportedly sought to enlist celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and the Dalai Lama in an effort to build up an audience for Threads.

Others saw the launch of Threads as an opportunity to create a less toxic version of Twitter.

“May this platform have good vibes, strong community, excellent humor, and less harassment,” Ocasio-Cortez said in her post.

While a number of burgeoning competitors such as Mastodon, Post, Truth Social and T2 have tried to lure Twitter users away, all remain relatively small so far.

Bluesky, a new service backed by Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, launched its invite-only beta in February and initially had users clamoring to get access codes.

Its website said it had 50,000 users as of April. Dorsey also backed another platform called Nostr.

 

Meta has, however, suffered multiple failures launching standalone copycat apps in the past, most notably its Lasso app aimed at competing with short video rival TikTok.

Much like Twitter, the app features short text posts that users can like, re-post and reply to, although it does not include any direct message capabilities.

Posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos and videos up to five minutes long, according to a Meta blog post.

It is available in more than 100 countries on both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, the blog post said.

Meta stock closed up 3% on Wednesday ahead of the launch, outpacing gains by rival tech firms.

 

 

Source: New York Post

 

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