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Meta Launches Threads, the Twitter Killer: Elon Musk Concerned

By Jake Beardslee · July 6, 2023

In brief…

  • Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has launched Threads, a new app seen as a potential rival to Twitter.
  • Mark Zuckerberg claims 10 million users have signed up for Threads.
  • Threads allows users to engage in text-based conversations, with the ability to post up to 500 characters of text and share video and pictures.
  • Industry experts believe Threads poses a significant challenge to Twitter, leaving Elon Musk concerned about the potential impact on his platform's user base.
Mark Zuckerberg Presenting F8 2018 Keynote  Anthony Quintano from Honolulu, HI, United States, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

In a move that could potentially shake up the social media landscape, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has unveiled its new app called Threads. Widely regarded as a direct competitor to Twitter, the app aims to revolutionize text-based conversations. However, regulatory concerns have resulted in it not being available in the European Union.

Threads allows users to share their thoughts and engage in discussions through 500-character text posts, along with the option to include five minutes of video and pictures. By integrating the app with Instagram, users also have the ability to directly add stories to their Instagram profiles. With its striking resemblance to Twitter, experts believe that Threads poses a significant challenge to the popular microblogging platform.

Matt Navarra, a social media analyst and former Digital Communications Advisor to the UK Government, voiced his concerns for Elon Musk, stating, “I think he should be worried. I think he should be very concerned because this is a real challenge to his platform now.” Navarra emphasized the growing popularity and adoption of Threads, suggesting that Musk’s platform could face a decline in user engagement and migration.

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, expressed his ambitions for Threads, envisioning a public conversations app with over a billion users. He pointed out that Twitter had failed to create such a platform, stating, “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.” However, some critics find it peculiar that those dissatisfied with Twitter’s management may seek refuge in a platform operated by Meta, a company that has faced controversies in the past, such as whistleblower Frances Haugen’s allegations of prioritizing profits over user safety.

Responding to Meta’s launch, Elon Musk took to Twitter, stating, “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram.” While Musk seemed dismissive, industry experts believe that Meta’s first-round performance with Threads has laid a solid foundation for potential success.

As Meta makes a bold move into the realm of real-time conversations, the competition between the tech giants intensifies. Only time will tell if Threads can fulfill its promise of becoming the next big social media platform and potentially challenge Twitter’s dominance in the market.