In a bid to rival Twitter, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, is set to launch a new app called Threads on July 6th. With the new app, which is apparently connected to Instagram and is available for pre-order on the Apple App Store, Meta aims to tap into the platform’s massive user base.
Threads, described as a “text-based conversation app,” will offer a similar experience to Twitter, emphasizing public discussions. According to the screenshots available on the App Store, users can follow accounts they already interact with on Instagram.
The timing of Threads’ launch aligns with the recent turmoil at Twitter. Since its acquisition by Elon Musk, the platform has undergone numerous changes, including adjustments to the algorithm that determines post visibility and a relaxation of content moderation rules. Over the weekend, Musk imposed limits on the number of tweets users could read, citing concerns over data scraping. These changes frustrated many users and provided Meta with an opportunity to enter the market.
Meta’s executives have been discussing ways to capitalize on Twitter’s challenges for some time, with internal discussions about building a rival service, as per media reports. Threads, originally known as Project 92, emerged from Instagram as a crash project.
The launch of Threads comes amidst Meta‘s own struggles. The company has been investing heavily in the metaverse, an immersive digital world, but skepticism remains about its mainstream appeal. Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, has recently faced cost-cutting measures and questions about the company’s position in the artificial intelligence race. However, with its extensive user base of over three billion people across its apps, Meta remains a credible competitor to Twitter.
While other platforms such as Tumblr, Nostr, Spill, Mastodon, and Bluesky have attempted to capitalize on Twitter’s weaknesses, they pale in comparison to Meta’s scale. Meta’s vast user base increases the likelihood of success for its copycat apps, potentially posing a significant threat to Twitter’s dominance.
The rivalry between Facebook and Twitter has persisted for years, with Zuckerberg’s unsuccessful attempt to acquire Twitter in its early days. Facebook’s efforts to capture real-time conversations have included live streaming and trending hashtags. Threads represent Meta’s latest endeavor to claim the central space for public discourse online.
As Threads prepares to launch, the tech world eagerly awaits the outcome of this battle for social media supremacy. Previously, Meta has successfully emulated popular features from rival platforms such as copying Stories from SnapChat and introducing Reels on Instagram, which bears a striking resemblance to TikTok. Following in the footsteps of Snapchat’s Stories, Meta’s Reels has gained significant traction, allowing users to create and share short-form videos set to music. This astute strategy of adopting and adapting successful features from competitors demonstrates Meta’s potential to stay at ahead of social media innovation while attracting users who are already familiar with these popular formats.