A ”separate space for real-time updates and public conversations”. That’s how Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg describes the company’s now launched new service Threads. It could also be a description of Twitter and that’s not a coincidence. Meta’s long planned Twitter-like service hopes to benefit from the confusing management of Twitter’s by its new owner Elon Musk who paid USD 44 billion for Twitter, laid off a large part of its staff, made some right-leaning political statements and scared away many big companies from advertising on Twitter .
Threads has been launched in more than 100 countries globally with more to come and it is reported that 5 million signed up for the new service just after a few hours.
The company later reported that 30 million had signed up within 23 hours. The competition with Twitter accelerated with US media reporting that Twitter lawyer was accusing Meta of stealing trade secrets by hiring former Twitter-staffers to develop Threads. Musk fired a large part of the Twitter staff when he took over the company.
The company’s announcement says:
- Threads is a new app, built by the Instagram team, for sharing text updates and joining public conversations.
- You log in using your Instagram account and posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes in length.
- We’re working to soon make Threads compatible with the open, interoperable social networks that we believe can shape the future of the internet.
“Instagram is where billions of people around the world connect over photos and videos. Our vision with Threads is to take what Instagram does best and expand that to text, creating a positive and creative space to express your ideas.”
“Just like on Instagram, with Threads you can follow and connect with friends and creators who share your interests – including the people you follow on Instagram and beyond. And you can use our existing suite of safety and user controls.”
“It’s easy to get started with Threads: simply use your Instagram account to log in. Your Instagram username and verification will carry over, with the option to customize your profile specifically for Threads.”
Meta says posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos, and videos as long as up to 5 minutes which for sure can feel very long.
“You can easily share a Threads post to your Instagram story, or share your post as a link on any other platform you choose.”
Meta says it is rolling out Threads in more than 100 countries for iOS and Android, and that the app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
The company says next step in addition to working toward making Threads compatible with the ActivityPub protocol, is soon adding a number of new features to “discover threads and creators you’re interested in, including improved recommendations in feed and a more robust search function that makes it easier to follow topics and trends in real time.”
The social media business will be waiting to see if the next step includes Threads attracting the advertising that Twitter has lost.
This is not the first attempt to promote a Twitter alternative since Musk bought the company. Germany-based social media platform Mastodon tried and initially reported noting a booming interest but it never really took off.
Meta is a stronger potential Twitter-competitor and could be willing to spend a lot to make the service attract traffic and advertisers while waiting for Zuckerberg’s vision about the metaverse to take off.
The metaverse is estimated to have huge possibilities but a wider use of it is estimated to be far away and will need more tech development and users to find it useful. Today the metaverse is mainly about gaming but more companies are also trying to use it for marketing and branding,