•10 million people join platform within hours
Social Media platform, Meta, has launched a new microblogging platform, ‘Threads’, which many have seen to rival Elon Musk owned, Twitter. Threads, which garnered millions of users in hours, sought to take advantage of its rival’s much-weakened Twitter.
While Nigerians have started joining, Reuters reported that those quick to join the new platform included celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez, as well as prominent politicians such as Democratic U.S. Representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“Let’s do this. Welcome to Threads,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in his first post on the app, along with a fire emoji. He said the app logged 10 million sign-ups in seven hours.
Zuckerberg also took to Twitter, posting a well-known meme of Spiderman facing off against Spiderman – in a humorous jab at the rivalry with Musk and between the two services.
Analysts have said Threads’ ties to Instagram might give it a built-in user base and advertising apparatus. That could siphon ad dollars from Twitter at a time when its new CEO is trying to revive its struggling business.
While Threads launched as a standalone app, users can log in using their Instagram credentials and follow the same accounts, potentially making it an easy addition to existing habits for Instagram’s more than two billion monthly active users.
Others saw the launch of Threads as an opportunity to create a less toxic version of Twitter.
“May this platform have good vibes, strong community, excellent humor, and less harassment,” Ocasio-Cortez said in her post.
Much like Twitter, the app features short text posts that users can like, re-post and reply to, although it does not include any direct message capabilities. Posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos and videos up to five minutes long, according to a Meta blog post.
It is available in more than 100 countries on both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, the blog post said.
Meta stock closed up three per cent on Wednesday ahead of the launch, outpacing gains by rival tech firms.
Threads’ arrival comes after Zuckerberg and Musk have traded barbs for months, even threatening to fight each other in a real-life mixed martial arts cage match in Las Vegas.
Meta is aiming at a time when Twitter is definitely on the defensive.
Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion last October, but its value has since plummeted amid deep staffing cuts and content moderation controversies that have alienated both users and advertisers. Its latest move involved limiting the number of tweets users can read per day.
Zuckerberg noted the challenges that big public social media forums bring. “I think there should be a public conversations app with 1 billion+ people on it. Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it. Hopefully we will,” he wrote.
The integration with Instagram included several nods to privacy considerations. Instagram users who sign up for Threads automatically have a badge affixed to their Instagram profile, but can opt to hide it. They also are given options to choose different privacy settings for each app.