Facebook-parent Meta officially launched its Twitter rival, Threads, on Wednesday, after confirming its plans for the app only three months ago.
Threads is already off to a strong start: According to the company, the app has received 30 million sign-ups as of Thursday morning, including a large number of prominent accounts from brands, celebrities, journalists and many more.
Wednesday night on Threads felt somewhat like the first day of school, with early adopters racing to try out the app and write their first posts — and some questioning whether the app could become a “Twitter killer.” Could As of Thursday morning, Threads was the top free app on Apple’s App Store and the top trending topic on Twitter.
Threads could pose a serious threat to Twitter, which has faced a backlash since Elon Musk took over the platform in October 2022 and launched it with a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach. has driven. But Twitter has been particularly vulnerable in recent days, with users angered by temporary limits on how much content users can see per day. And for Meta, Threads could further expand its empire of popular apps and provide a new platform to sell ads.
Here’s everything we know about Meta Threads so far:
Threads is a new app from the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. The platform looks a lot like Twitter, with a feed of largely text-based posts — though users can also post photos and videos — where people can interact in real time.
Meta said that messages posted on threads would have a 500-character limit. Similar to Twitter, users can reply to, repost, and quote others’ Threads posts. But the app also blends Instagram’s existing aesthetic and navigation systems, and offers the ability to share posts from threads directly to Instagram Stories.
Thread accounts can also be listed as public or private. Verified Instagram accounts are automatically verified on threads.
“The purpose of Threads is to create an alternative and friendly public space for conversation,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Threads post following the launch. “We hope to take what Instagram does best and create a new experience about text, ideas, and discussing what’s on your mind.”
Some users experienced occasional glitches and problems loading content in the initial hours after Threads launched, but this is to be expected when millions of users are connecting and using an app at the same time.
Users sign up through their Instagram accounts and have the same username, password, and account name, although they can edit their bios to be unique to threads. Users can also import a list of accounts they follow directly from Instagram, making it extremely easy to get up and running on the app.
According to the company, Threads is available through Apple’s iOS and Android in 100 countries and more than 30 languages.
Threads is the latest platform launched in recent months in hopes of establishing Twitter as the go-to app for real-time, public conversations. But it may have the greatest chance of success.
Since Musk took the stage late last year, many Twitter users have expressed their desire for an alternative. Persistent technical issues and policy changes have prompted the exit of some notable Twitter users.
Meta has at least one significant edge over Twitter: the size of its existing user base. Meta is hoping to capture at least some of its more than 2 billion global active Instagram users with the new app. This is compared to Twitter’s active user base, which is around 250 million.
“It’s going to take some time, but I think there should be a public conversation app with over a billion people,” Zuckerberg said in a Threads post. “Twitter has had an opportunity to do this, but it hasn’t been able to take advantage of it. Hopefully we will.”
one in do On Thursday, Twitter’s new CEO Linda Yacarino described Twitter as “irreplaceable” while acknowledging the launch of a rival app.
He said, “We are often copied – but the Twitter community can never be copied.”
Meta’s existing scale and infrastructure could work to its advantage. While several other Twitter competitors that have surfaced in recent months require users to join a waitlist or sign up to receive an invitation, the only work to do is rebuild your network on the new site, Threads makes it remarkably easy for users to get started.
But Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said in a video posted to the platform that the challenge for new social media platforms is often not getting users to sign up, but keeping them engaged over the long term.
In particular, Meta will have to work to prevent spam, harassment, conspiracy theories and false claims on threads, issues that have soured many users on Twitter. The launch of the new platform comes as Meta furloughed more than 20,000 employees since last November, including user experience, wellness, policy and risk analysis staff. It also comes as campaign season for the 2024 US presidential election approaches, with some experts warning of a coming wave of misinformation. Meta says its community guidelines will apply to threads just like its other apps.
For Meta, threads could be a way to eke out additional engagement time from its massive existing user base.
Although there is no advertising on the platform yet, Threads could eventually also complement Meta’s core advertising business. Meta’s advertising business could get a boost after facing challenges from a broader downturn in the online advertising market and changes to Apple’s app privacy practices, however, if Twitter’s history is any guide, the format will be as successful as Meta’s other platforms. Not likely to attract many advertising dollars. ,
However, the real attraction for Zuckerberg may be trying to better his rival Musk, with whom he plans to engage in cage fighting in recent weeks. Perhaps winning the battle of the social networks is even better.