Is the new Meta Threads more than just a Twitter copycat?

July 06, 2023
threads The text-based Twitter competitor Threads from Meta has officially started. The software launched on Wednesday in more than 100 nations' Apple and Android app stores, however its release in Europe was postponed due to worries over data privacy.
“Let’s do this. Welcome to Threads,” Meta Chief Executive and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote in his first post on the new platform, which will run with no ads for now.
Here is what you need to know about the Threads platform: Is Threads simply a clone of Twitter? Yes, in some respects. The new software is very similar to Twitter in that it allows users to like, share, and comment to short text updates, however some of the nomenclature has changed with retweets now termed "reposts" and tweets now called "threads." According to a blog post on the Meta website, posts can have up to 500 characters, which is about twice as lengthy as a tweet, and they can contain links, images, and videos that are up to five minutes long. The absence of direct messaging features in Threads is a key distinction between it and Twitter. The introduction of Meta's new product coincides with concerns about the future of the social media platform raised by Elon Musk's tumultuous management of Twitter. Can governments, businesses, and celebrities use Threads as their primary method of communication?
“It’ll take some time, but I think there should be a public conversations app with one billion+ people on it. Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it. Hopefully, we will,” Zuckerberg said in a Threads post.
A spin-off from Instagram Though Threads is not a startup, it will desire Twitter's audience. It avoids the issue of starting from scratch because it is based on Instagram, which is owned by Meta, and gives Threads access to a built-in audience of more than 2 billion users. Since users can log in with their Instagram credentials and follow the same profiles, it may be simple for them to incorporate it into their routines. In a post published on Thursday, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said the platform is built for “public conversations” and the company was looking to “bring some of what we’ve built for photos and videos on Instagram to Threads with text”. He added that Meta hoped people would engage with the platform in “friendly and open” conversations. Mosseri also said Meta was looking to integrate the ActivityPub protocol, the technology behind the Mastodon server and network, which could potentially enable Instagram users to carry their followers into Threads. Analysts said investors were excited over the possibility that Threads’ ties to Instagram might give it a built-in user base and advertising apparatus. That could siphon significant advertising revenue from rivals like Twitter. Privacy issues around Threads Although Threads may improve the Twitter experience, users' privacy is substantially less secured than on the platform of its competitor. The way that Meta handles personal data, which it exploits to serve customized advertisements and generate billions of dollars in revenues every quarter, has long been criticized. Its debut into the European Union market has been delayed as a result, where there are stringent regulations in place to protect users' privacy. One such regulation prohibits platforms from sharing users' personal information across different services, something Instagram intends to do with Threads. European regulators will be on the alert to make sure that Meta does not transfer data while using Threads after it was discovered that it had done so after purchasing the messaging app WhatsApp. Who has signed up? Five million users signed up for Threads in the first four hours, according to Zuckerberg. Numerous media organizations, including The Washington Post, Reuters, and The Economist, as well as celebrities like Hugh Jackman, Shakira, and Jennifer Lopez already had active accounts.

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