Zuckerberg targets the blue bird’s dominance with ‘Thread’
As Twitter undergoes transformative changes under the leadership of Elon Musk, another major player has entered the scene. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has launched its new platform called Threads, positioning itself as a direct competitor to Twitter. This launch brings Threads to users in 100 countries, intensifying the competition in the social media space.
What is Threads?
Tech giant Meta unveiled Threads, its standalone Twitter rival. This new app, inspired by Instagram’s account system, offers users a platform to share text updates, post links, engage in conversations, and interact with other users through replies and reporting messages. With the launch of Threads, Meta aims to provide users with an alternative social networking experience that emphasizes public conversations and easy sharing of content.
Threads is launched at a time when Twitter faces challenges in generating substantial revenues. Recent reports have highlighted a sharp decline in Twitter’s US advertising revenue, which dropped by 59 per cent in April compared to the previous year. Despite Elon Musk’s assertions of the company’s business being on the “upswing,” the decline in advertising revenue possibly signals the need for new platforms like Threads. This would offer users alternative options and potentially attract a different user base.
A Potential Competitor
Within just seven hours of the launch, the platform garnered a remarkable 10 million sign-ups. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared updates on the growing numbers, highlighting the platform’s rapid success with milestones such as 2 million, 5 million, and now surpassing 7 million sign-ups.
The reception to Threads has ignited a spirited debate about its potential to outperform Twitter. Some believe that its integration with Instagram, which boasts a substantial existing user base, could give Threads an advantage, particularly as Twitter faces challenges under the leadership of new CEO Linda Yaccarino and amidst efforts by Elon Musk to revive the platform.
Conversely, others argue that Twitter’s news-focused approach, distinct from Instagram’s primarily visual nature, will be difficult to supplant.
Meta’s Threads app is indeed poised to be a direct competitor to Twitter, as it enters the social media landscape and vies for the attention of users, including news publishers, politicians, and high-profile individuals. The competition between Threads and Twitter is expected to intensify as both platforms strive to capture and retain the attention of influential users and cater to their diverse communication needs.
What’s all there to do?
Threads offers several features to enhance the user experience. Here are some key offerings of Threads:
Personalized Feed: The user’s feed includes threads posted by people they follow, ensuring they stay updated with their preferred content. Additionally, recommended content is also displayed to introduce users to new and relevant threads.
Rich Content: Users can create posts of up to 500 characters, allowing them to express their thoughts in detail. They can also include links, photos, and videos of up to 5 minutes in length, enhancing the variety and visual appeal of their posts.
Integration with Instagram: Threads provides seamless integration with Instagram, allowing users to share their posts on their Instagram stories. This cross-platform functionality enables users to reach a broader audience and extend the visibility of their content.
Sharing Options: Threads offers flexibility in sharing posts beyond its platform. Users can share their threads as links on any other platform, expanding their reach and engagement potential.
User Control: Users have control over their interactions on Threads. They can manage who can mention them or reply to their threads, ensuring a more personalized and focused conversation. Similar to Instagram, users can also utilize hidden words to filter out unwanted replies.
Account Management: Threads allows users to take control of their connections. They can unfollow, block, restrict, or report profiles based on their preferences and safety concerns. Notably, accounts blocked on Instagram will automatically be blocked on Threads, streamlining the user’s management of their social connections.
In an effort to promote openness and interoperability, Meta has revealed its plans to make Threads compatible with the ActivityPub protocol. This development will enable Threads to interact and communicate with other applications that support the ActivityPub protocol, including Mastodon and WordPress.
By adopting this protocol, Threads will become part of a broader network of interconnected platforms, allowing users to seamlessly share content and engage with communities across different applications. This move signifies Meta’s go-to-market approach that centres on promoting cross-platform compatibility and providing users with more options for connecting and interacting within the digital ecosystem.