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Zuckerberg vs Musk: Meta's Threads App Ready to Challenge Twitter

Threads, Meta's new project, provides an alternative to Twitter, promising to draw in Twitter's disgruntled users amidst Musk's controversial policies.

Zuckerberg vs Musk: Meta's Threads App Ready to Challenge Twitter

Tuesday July 04, 2023 , 3 min Read

In what can be seen as a fresh salvo in the tech wars, Mark Zuckerberg's Meta has prepared a counter-punch against Elon Musk's Twitter with the much-anticipated launch of a rival application, Threads. The standalone app, part of Meta's Project 92, aims to steal some of Twitter's thunder with features akin to the popular microblogging platform.

Threads: Communities Redefined

According to its App Store listing, Threads promises to be a hub where communities converge to discuss various topics of interest, from today's headlines to tomorrow's trending subjects. Whether you're an ardent follower or a prolific creator, Threads offers a platform to connect directly and engage meaningfully. It invites users to build a loyal following and share their ideas, opinions, and creativity with the world.

Unlike starting from scratch on Twitter, Threads users can seamlessly transfer their Instagram followers and followings, providing a sense of continuity. Additionally, user-controlled settings allow individuals to dictate who can reply to their posts - a flexibility that could be an attractive selling point for many.

Currently, Threads is exclusively available on the iOS App Store in the United States. According to the App Store data, the official launch of Threads is scheduled for July 6th, and users can sign up in advance of this date. The app's description states, "Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from topics you care about today to what'll be trending tomorrow."

A Punch to Twitter's Gut?

The launch of Threads comes at a critical time when Twitter is grappling with a host of issues, particularly after Elon Musk took over the reins. Twitter has been riddled with controversies, thanks to Musk's relatively lax content moderation policies, ongoing algorithmic changes, and the imposition of a monthly subscription fee for Twitter Blue. This last move has irked users and led to calls for alternatives.

Furthermore, Musk's 'temporary limits' on the number of tweets a user can view have also triggered a backlash, with many users complaining about the 'cannot retrieve tweets' and 'rate limit exceeded' error messages. Advertisers' reactions to these tweet view limitations remain to be seen, but it is not hard to imagine that they might not be thrilled.

This turbulent climate offers the perfect backdrop for Zuckerberg to launch Threads, intensifying the competition and potentially turning up the heat on Twitter.

A Silver Lining for Meta

Meta's launch comes on the heels of mounting frustrations with Musk's Twitter and with other platforms, like Mastodon and Bluesky, angling for a larger share of the microblogging market.

Instagram has been hard at work promoting Threads for months, enlisting the help of various celebrities and influencers to generate buzz ahead of the launch. It seems that Meta's executives have long seen an opportunity in Twitter's disarray, with internal discussions on how to capitalise on this to their advantage dating back to last year.

"Twitter is in crisis and Meta needs its mojo back," a Meta employee reportedly posted internally last year. "Let’s go for their bread and butter."

The cage match between Zuckerberg and Musk may not have a set date yet, but the opening salvo may have already been fired with Threads. The coming weeks will reveal whether Threads can truly go toe-to-toe with Twitter or if this is merely a flash in the pan in the ongoing saga of tech giants. Either way, the gloves are off, and the first round is about to begin.