Meta’s Threads app garnered an impressive 30 million users on its launch day, according to Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief. Positioned as a friendly competitor to Twitter, which was acquired by Elon Musk in October, Threads has the potential to attract disgruntled Twitter users who are dissatisfied with recent platform changes. However, Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino emphasized that Twitter’s community is unique and cannot be replicated.
Threads allows users to post messages of up to 500 characters and offers features similar to those found on Twitter. Zuckerberg previously highlighted the importance of maintaining a friendly environment for the app’s success. In response, Musk remarked that being attacked by strangers on Twitter is preferable to the superficial happiness of Instagram.
When asked if Threads could surpass Twitter, Zuckerberg stated that while it may take time, he envisions a public conversations app with over 1 billion users. He criticized Twitter for not achieving this goal and expressed hope that Threads would fare better.
The app’s launch has received positive feedback online, with one individual referring to Threads as a much-needed competitor to Twitter. However, competitors have raised concerns about the app’s potential data usage. According to the Apple App Store, Threads may collect various data linked to users’ identities, including health, financial, and browsing information.
Furthermore, some users have expressed unease about the inability to delete their Threads profile without deleting their associated Instagram account. Meta acknowledged this concern and mentioned that they are working on a solution. In the meantime, users can deactivate their Threads profile without affecting their Instagram account, rendering their Threads profile and interactions invisible.
Meta has classified Threads as an “initial version” and plans to introduce additional features, such as the ability to interact with users on other social media platforms like Mastodon. The company aims to leverage Instagram’s strengths in the realm of text-based communication.
In light of Meta’s controversial business practices, the release of Threads follows criticism from whistleblower Frances Haugen, who accused the company of prioritizing profits over safety and scrutinized its content moderation policies. Meta also faced scrutiny for allowing third parties, including Cambridge Analytica, to access users’ personal data.
Recently, Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, limited the number of tweets users could view per day, citing concerns about data scraping. This move aimed to drive users to subscribe to Twitter Blue, the platform’s subscription service. Twitter also announced that its popular user dashboard, TweetDeck, would become a paid service within 30 days.
Since Musk assumed control of Twitter, numerous users have voiced their dissatisfaction with the platform and his leadership, citing erratic behavior and political views. In a lighthearted exchange, Musk and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg jokingly agreed to a cage fight, with Zuckerberg’s early posts on Threads mentioning his interest in mixed martial arts.
While Threads is available for download in over 100 countries, including the UK, it has yet to launch in the EU due to regulatory uncertainties surrounding the EU’s Digital Markets Act. Meta is currently exploring the possibility of launching Threads in the EU. The act imposes regulations on data sharing between large companies, such as Meta, and the platforms they own—an issue relevant to Threads and Instagram.
Meta maintains that protecting user privacy is a fundamental aspect of its business.