Meta, the owner of Facebook, is set to launch a new app called Threads to directly compete with Twitter. The app, which can be pre-ordered on the Apple App Store, will be linked to Instagram. Screenshots of the app reveal a dashboard resembling Twitter, and Meta describes Threads as a “text-based conversation app.” This move intensifies the ongoing rivalry between Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter owner Elon Musk.
Last month, Zuckerberg and Musk agreed to a physical fight, although it remains unclear if it was meant seriously or in jest. Musk responded to a tweet about Threads by sarcastically commenting, “Thank goodness they’re so sanely run,” taking a dig at Zuckerberg.
Meanwhile, Twitter has announced that its popular user dashboard, TweetDeck, will be placed behind a paywall in 30 days as part of Musk’s efforts to drive users to sign up for Twitter Blue, the platform’s subscription service. Musk recently limited the number of tweets users could see, citing concerns about data scraping.
Based on information available, it seems Threads will be a free service without any restrictions on the number of posts a user can view. The app is described as a platform where communities can discuss various topics. Screenshots of Threads show a layout similar to Twitter.
As a Meta app, Threads is expected to collect data from users’ devices, including location data, purchases, and browsing history. In recent years, several apps resembling Twitter, such as Donald Trump’s Truth Social and Mastodon, have emerged. Another similar app, Bluesky, reported increased traffic after Musk’s restrictions on Twitter usage.
However, Threads could pose the most significant threat to Twitter thus far. Zuckerberg has a history of adopting ideas from other companies and making them successful. Meta’s Reels is considered a copy of TikTok, while Stories resembles Snapchat. With its vast resources and integration with Instagram, Threads will have access to hundreds of millions of accounts, giving it a head start compared to other potential rivals.
While Musk has received praise for his commitment to free speech, he has also alienated some users. Zuckerberg hopes to attract enough disenchanted Twitter users to create a genuine alternative through Threads.
** Taking lead from BBC NEWS