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Updated Jul 5, 2023, 7:36pm EDT
techNorth America

Meta’s new Twitter rival ‘Threads’ is live

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
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The News

Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta has launched “Threads” — a new app that aims to provide “text-based conversations” to users — much like Twitter.

A countdown to the app’s launch at 7 pm Eastern Time on Wednesday appeared on an official website, but some users complained that they experienced issues downloading the new Twitter rival.

Once signed up, users will find that the new app has a similar design to Instagram but functions like Twitter. They can also carry over their existing followers from Instagram to Threads.

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In his inaugural post on the app, Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Meta posted: “Let’s do this. Welcome to Threads.”

Users will be able to share their “ideas, opinions, and creativity” on the platform, the app’s description says. Their accounts will be linked to their Instagram profiles and will be free.

A guide to the app mentions that future versions of Threads would allow people to follow and interact with each other through the “fediverse” — meaning across different social platforms — similar to the decentralized social media app Mastodon.

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At a time when Twitter is experiencing internal chaos, slapping new fees on services like Tweetdeck, and limiting the number of posts a user can read, some tech analysts have described the app as the end of Twitter.

We’ve rounded up what experts are saying about the launch of Threads.

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Insights

  • Lia Haberman, author of ICYMI, a social media newsletter about the influencer economy, wrote that Threads has been in the works since Elon Musk took over Twitter last fall. At the time, the New York Times reported that Facebook employees met to brainstorm ideas for a new “text-based app,” with one person writing in an internal chat: “Twitter is in crisis and Meta needs its mojo back… LET’S GO FOR THEIR BREAD AND BUTTER.”
  • A handful of people, including influencers and content creators, had access to Threads before it launched. Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, got 2,500 followers at the time, while Mark Zuckerberg had less than 2,000, The Verge reported. A leaked “Early Access” onboarding guide showed that content creators were encouraged to save their best posts for launch day and to share their profiles on Instagram Stories and Feed. —Business Insider
  • Threads will be available in over 100 countries but won’t be accessible to those in Ireland or the EU. Sources close to the parent company said that the service will not be available in the EU because of certain restrictions that would prevent Meta from accessing users’ data under the EU’s Digital Markets Act. — The Irish Independent
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