Meta has officially entered the great Twitter race with Threads. Tech mogul Mark Zuckerberg is expanding his social networking empire, which began with Facebook, into the text-based app space. Zuckerberg’s parent company, Meta, purchased Instagram in 2012, and Threads is now designed to compete with Twitter. Jack Dorsey founded Twitter, and sold it to billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk in the fall of 2022.
Since Musk’s Twitter takeover, longtime users of the platform have found themselves increasingly disappointed with the app’s latest policies. Musk notably ended the legacy verification program, which provided a coveted blue check of authenticity to celebrities, government officials, and journalists. Instead, Musk implemented Twitter Blue, which allows for any user to purchase a Blue Check with a monthly subscription.
After the fallout of legacy verification, Musk most recently announced that users who do not opt to pay the subscription fees will be limited to viewing 600 tweets per day. This was a particularly hard blow to journalists, who often use the platform to research stories they are following. All of these policy changes came after Musk controversially reinstated former President Donald Trump‘s account, which he allegedly used to organize the 2021 Capitol Insurrection.
Additionally, Musk frequently espouses his desire for “free speech” and a lack of censorship. This has resulted in a spike in hate speech that is allowed on the platform in its current state. All of these factors culminated in the development of two Twitter competitors, with one currently in the lead. Twitter’s original founder Jack Dorsey created Bluesky, which currently still only operates on an invite only basis, and Meta released Threads to the public today.
The Threads vs. Twitter Comparison
Currently, both platforms reflect a text-based format that also bears the capability for short form video and images. As of now, Threads does not have a direct message (DM) feature, or a feed where you can see another user’s likes. Both have been signature Twitter features.
In terms of data collection, Threads collects a minimum of personal data, similarly to parent social network Facebook.
— jack (@jack) July 4, 2023
Many argue that the data policy is no more invasive than several other popular platforms, and should not be raising concern.
— FreddieRaynolds (@FreddieRaynolds) July 4, 2023
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that Threads surpassed two million downloads in the two hours after its initial release.
Post by @zuckView on Threads
Elon Musk and Twitter have served Mark Zuckerberg and Meta over the new platform. In the publicly released statement, Musk accuses Zuckerberg of “willfully” crafting a platform that infringes upon the intellectual property of Twitter.
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) July 6, 2023
Elon Musk is running scared.
Twitter just formally sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg and threatened to sue Meta over the new Threads app.
Threads surpassed over 30 million signups overnight. pic.twitter.com/1QXIAc4y9w
— MeidasTouch (@MeidasTouch) July 6, 2023
Zuckerberg is yet to issue a public response regarding Threads’ Twitter comparison.