Meta Unveils New Challenger: Threads
Meta Platforms is gearing up to launch Threads, a new microblogging app designed to rival Twitter. The announcement comes just days after Twitter CEO Elon Musk faced criticism for imposing a temporary limit on the number of posts users can read on the platform.
Threads Leverages Instagram's Established User Base
Launching this Thursday, Threads is designed to allow users to maintain their followers and usernames from Instagram, according to the app's listing on Apple's App Store. This bold move presents a direct challenge to Twitter, which has experienced numerous controversies since Elon Musk's $44 billion acquisition in 2022.
Twitter Under Fire, Opens Doors for Rivals
Recently, Musk announced a series of restrictions limiting the daily tweet view count, triggering widespread discontent among users. While alternative microblogging platforms like Mastodon and Blue Sky have gained traction following Musk's acquisition, they've yet to significantly challenge Twitter's dominance.
Instagram's Innovation Record Offers Threads a Headstart
However, Instagram's huge user base and history of feature innovation could provide Threads with a competitive edge. Instagram's past includes the successful introduction of "Stories" in response to Snapchat's rising popularity and its short-form video feature "Reels" aimed at countering TikTok's surge.
Threat to Twitter's Reign
Industry experts agree that Threads could significantly impact Twitter's user base. "Threads is going to pose a huge threat to Twitter because it's coming from the Meta and Instagram family of apps," observed Drew Benvie, CEO of Battenhall, a social media consultancy.
Post-Acquisition Twitter: Changes and Controversies
Under Musk's leadership, Twitter has undergone significant changes and faced multiple controversies. Last year, Musk laid off approximately 80% of Twitter's staff and reinstated several previously banned accounts. This led to many advertisers pausing their investments due to the perceived increase in harmful content, and overall user disengagement was observed.
At the time of writing, Meta has not yet responded to a request for comment regarding Threads' launch on Google's Play Store. Twitter has also been approached for a comment.