July 06, 2023: Meta, the company led by Mark Zuckerberg, has boldly challenged Elon Musk’s control over Twitter. Meta’s Instagram launched Threads, a text-based conversation app, in approximately 100 countries yesterday. The app is now available for iOS devices through Apple’s App Store and Android through Google Play. Previously, Threads was in a closed beta test.
In his inaugural post on the app, Zuckerberg expressed his excitement, saying, “Let’s do this. Welcome to Threads. ” Instagram describes Threads as a platform where communities can come together to discuss various topics of interest. Users can connect with their favorite creators and others who share similar interests. They can also build their following and share their ideas, opinions, and creativity with the world.
What sets Threads apart from other Twitter alternatives is its integration with Instagram. Users can maintain the same username on Threads and have the option to follow the duplicate accounts they already follow on Instagram. This seamless integration aims to provide a smoother transition for users.
Threads allow users to share text posts of up to 500 characters and photos and videos up to five minutes long. At present, the app does not include a direct messaging feature. However, Meta has plans to make Threads compatible with the ActivityPub protocol, an open social networking protocol established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This compatibility would allow Threads to interact with other apps that support the ActivityPub protocol, such as Mastodon and WordPress.
Instagram’s decision to launch Threads comes when Twitter has been facing technical difficulties. Last week, Twitter temporarily restricted the number of posts users could read to address data scraping and system manipulation issues. Meta had previously announced its exploration of a standalone, decentralized social network for sharing text updates, aiming to provide a separate space for creators and public figures to share timely updates about their interests.
While it remains to be seen how many Instagram users will adopt Threads, the app’s emphasis on text-based conversations and its integration with Instagram’s existing user base could pose a significant challenge to Twitter’s dominance. Zuckerberg and Musk have engaged in posturing and exchanged comments about a potential showdown, but it remains uncertain whether they will actually engage in a physical battle.
In conclusion, Instagram’s launch of Threads represents Meta’s direct challenge to Twitter’s influence. With its focus on text-based conversations and its integration with Instagram’s large user base, Threads has the potential to disrupt the social media landscape and provide users with an alternative platform for engaging in discussions.