Meta Takes on Twitter in Highly Anticipated “Threads” Launch

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If the world needed another social media platform, it seems to have embraced Meta’s release of “Threads” – Meta’s answer to Twitter, and the latest development in the Zuckerberg versus Musk rivalry.

As of 7/7, Threads reports having racked up over 30 million user sign-ups since the new platform hit cyberspace at 7pm EDT on July 5th. While it will be available in the US and United Kingdom, in addition to more than 100 countries via the Apple and Google app stores, the network will not be operating in the EU due to regulatory concerns.

Meta hopes to lure users away to its Twitter clone during a time when some have become disillusioned with changes at the popular social network. Threads will offer lengthier posts – 500 characters in its new space as opposed to 280 on Twitter – and videos up to five minutes in length can be shared, compared to a maximum of Twitter’s two minutes and twenty seconds. The new platform calls its posts “threads” instead of tweets, and retweets are simply referred to as “reposts.”

Threads users can unfollow, block, restrict and report others, as well as filter out replies containing particular words. The new platform is also designed so Threads users could transfer their content to another service with similar technology like Mastodon.

Says Meta, “Our vision is that people using compatible apps will be able to follow and interact with people on Threads without having a Threads account and vice versa, ushering in a new era of diverse and interconnected networks.”

One caveat is that users will need an Instagram account to use the Threads platform. After signing up, users can choose to follow all the same accounts they do on Instagram, as long as those accounts have also joined the new network. Meta says they aim to “take what Instagram does best and expand that to text.”

Instagram claims a base of 2 billion users, while Twitter reports over 250 million, after having purged “fake” accounts since Elon Musk acquired the company in October of last year.

In what appeared to be harmless jest or a good old fashioned publicity move, tech giants Zuckerberg and Musk reportedly agreed to a “cage fight” in response to the announcement of the Threads vs. Twitter platform wars.  In terms of dollars, Musk handily defeats Zuckerberg at $236 to $99.9 billion in net worth. Zuckerberg carries the age advantage however, at 39 versus 51, and reportedly studies Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

If Elon Musk is phased by the entrance of Twitter’s new competitor into the social media space, he appears to take it in stride. In a recent tweet he quipped, “I’m sure Earth can’t wait to be exclusively under Zuck’s thumb.” Will Threads outpace Twitter as the new idea sharing platform of choice? Will Twitter evolve in response to the competition? Read more here.

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