Threads app logo

Meta teases Threads, a new text app to rival Twitter

Image credit: Meta (via Apple Store)

Facebook and Instagram parent Meta has created a new text-based social media app named Threads, which is expected to launch on Thursday.

Although the physical fight between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg has never materialised, the Facebook owner has posed a new challenge to the Tesla founder in the form of a new social media application. 

Described as "Instagram’s text-based conversation app", Threads is currently available for pre-sale in the Apple store. 

The app has been described by Meta as a platform "where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow".

“Whatever it is you’re interested in, you can follow and connect directly with your favorite creators and others who love the same things — or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions and creativity with the world”, the Apple Store description reads.

Meta has also launched a countdown website for the release.

A look into Threads

A look into Threads / Meta

Image credit: Meta (via Apple Store)

The launch of Threads has been made public shortly after Twitter was criticised for introducing a temporary cap on the number of tweets users can read on the social media site. The name is also the same to that of a different app Meta launched in 2019 to compete with Snapchat, which was later abandoned.

Reports that Zuckerberg's company was working on a Twitter rival were first made public in March, following widespread criticism over Musk's $44bn (£38bn) takeover of the social media platform.

“We’re exploring a standalone decentralised social network for sharing text updates,” a Meta spokesperson said at the time. “We believe there’s an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests.”

Commenting on the launch of Threads, Musk tweeted: “Thank goodness they’re so sanely run,” parodying the criticism launched over his management on Twitter, which resulted in  large-scale staff layoffs and a succession of outages for the platform.

Threads is far from the only platform which has seemed to rival Twitter. Other sites such as Mastodon and Jack Dorsey's BlueSky have seen their user base grow over the last year. However, thanks to the power of Instagram, Threads could be Twitter's most threatening opponent.

Meta’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, said during a company-wide meeting there had been demand for a Twitter alternative “from creators and public figures who are interested in having a platform that is sanely run”, The Verge reported.

Experts have also pointed out that Meta has a long history of taking inspiration from the features of its competitors, such as introducing "Stories" to compete with Snapchat and "Reels" to address TikTok's rise in popularity. In a similar way, Threads is expected to be linked to Instagram, avoiding the need for users to create new accounts to use the platform.

Nevertheless, Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s co-founder and an executive at BlueSky, warned about the privacy features of Threads in a recent tweet.

The publication shows a picture of Threads’ app privacy information, along with the caption “All your Threads are belong to us”. The image reveals that Threads' privacy policy says the app could collect data related to users' health, financial information, contact information, browsing history, location and purchases, among other things.

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