Meta’s Threads app made an unexpected debut, providing billions of users with an alternative to Twitter in response to growing dissatisfaction with the social media platform owned by Elon Musk. Initially scheduled for release at 10 a.m. Eastern Time on July 6, the company moved the countdown clock to 7 p.m. Eastern Time on July 5.
Threads, resembling Twitter in appearance, allows users to post messages, reply to others, and engage with content through likes and reposts. Additionally, Meta-owned Instagram users can follow the same accounts on Threads, potentially boosting their followers.
Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s founder and CEO, expressed his vision for Threads in an Instagram post after its availability for download, stating, “Our vision is to take the best parts of Instagram and create a new experience for text, ideas, and discussing what’s on your mind. I believe the world needs this kind of friendly community, and I’m grateful to all of you who are part of Threads from day one.”
As Threads approached its release, some individuals on social media labeled it a potential “Twitter killer,” speculating that dissatisfied users may switch to the new app. Frustration has arisen among Twitter users due to recent changes implemented by CEO Elon Musk, who limited the number of tweets nonpaying users can view per day. Furthermore, hate speech on Twitter has surged since Musk acquired the platform last year.
Mike Proulx, Vice President at tech research company Forrester, remarked that Meta is capitalizing on the prevailing frustration with Twitter. Proulx said, “Meta is banking on a moment in time amidst peak Twitter frustration.”
What is Instagram Threads?
Threads, described by Proulx as an Instagram app, is seen by some as another imitation by Meta, which has previously introduced services that mimic other standalone tech tools, such as Slingshot, an instant messaging app, and IGTV, a video service from Instagram. In the case of Threads, Meta positions it as a platform where users can “follow and connect directly with your favorite creators and others who love the same things.” In essence, Threads may resemble Twitter but with a stronger focus on the creators and influencers who thrive on Instagram.
How Many Users Are There now?
The company’s chief, Mark Zuckerberg, said 30 million users signed up for Meta’s newly launched Threads app.