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Meta unveils Instagram Threads to rival Twitter amid user unrest

Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2023. 5:23 pm CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: In a significant move marking its ambition to contend with Twitter, Meta Platforms Inc. has officially launched Instagram Threads, a new text-based conversation app. According to CNBC, the launch is a direct response to the upheaval caused by the turbulent tenure of Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, at Twitter.

According to Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, the new Threads app, now available for free download in over 100 countries on both the Apple App Store and Google Play online store, shares Twitter’s aesthetic as a social messaging platform.

The CNBC report revealed that Threads users can publish posts, much like tweets, that others can like, share, and comment on. Users can also follow the same Threads accounts that they follow on Instagram and reply to other public posts, similar to the usage pattern on Twitter. Notably, Threads is a separate app, although linked to Instagram, requiring a separate download.

CNBC also quoted Instagram’s description of Threads from the Apple App Store: “Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow.” The company further stated in a blog post that users could manage who mentions or replies to them in the app, and filter out replies containing specific words, ensuring positive, productive conversations.

The Threads app has come to life amid the turmoil at Twitter, with Meta seeking to capture the wave of Twitter users disconcerted by Musk’s unpredictable actions, including the imposition of a daily tweet limit to combat data scraping and system manipulation.

This unrest has also benefited Twitter’s rival, BlueSky, a social messaging app backed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, which experienced “record-high traffic” following Musk’s announcement of the tweet limit. Like BlueSky, Threads will use decentralized technology allowing users to control their data across multiple apps.

According to CNBC, Instagram Head, Adam Mosseri, mentioned in a Threads post that the app would soon incorporate a decentralized technology called ActivityPub, similar to another Twitter-like app, Mastadon. This move is expected to allow people without Threads accounts to view Threads and interact with users who have public profiles via other apps using the same technology.

Meta envisions Threads to be compatible with an open social networking protocol, potentially ushering in a new era of diverse, interconnected networks. Notably, this is not Meta’s first attempt at a messaging app called Threads. In 2019, it launched a photo and video-centric messaging app also called Threads, which was eventually shut down in 2021.

Only time will tell if this new venture into text-based messaging will resonate with the social media audience. As Twitter grapples with its challenges, Meta is eager to seize the opportunity to expand its social networking footprint.


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