In an effort to challenge Twitter's dominance in the realm of public conversation online, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, unveiled a new app called Threads. The app, connected to Instagram, recently appeared in Apple's App Store, allowing users to sign up for its release on Thursday. Threads is expected to function similarly to Twitter, emphasizing public discussions and enabling users to follow individuals they already engage with on Instagram. Some industry insiders have dubbed it a potential "Twitter killer."
Zuckerberg's move comes at a time when Twitter is facing fresh turmoil. Since Elon Musk's acquisition of the platform last year, significant changes have been made, including adjustments to Twitter's algorithm for post visibility, the elimination of content moderation rules, and an overhaul of the verification process. Additionally, Musk recently imposed limitations on the number of tweets users can read due to concerns over data scraping, resulting in frustration among Twitter's user base.
Seizing the opportunity presented by Twitter's turbulence, Meta has been exploring ways to capitalize on the situation, including the development of a rival service. Referred to as Project 92 internally, the crash project led to the creation of Threads, which originated from Instagram. Users will be able to log into Threads using their Instagram accounts, positioning it as a more stable alternative to Twitter's recent volatility.
While Meta faces its own challenges, such as its shift towards the metaverse and questions regarding its progress in artificial intelligence, it remains a formidable competitor to Twitter. With a vast user base exceeding three billion across Facebook, Instagram, and other apps, Meta possesses significant resources. Smaller platforms attempting to capitalize on Twitter's vulnerabilities pale in comparison, making Meta's copycat apps more likely to succeed at Twitter's expense.
The rivalry between Facebook and Twitter has persisted for years as they vie to capture real-time conversations online. In Twitter's early days, Zuckerberg attempted to acquire the company but was rebuffed. Facebook also made substantial efforts to showcase live products and trending topics during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Both Zuckerberg and Musk have explored the possibility of facing off in a mixed martial arts match, expressing their willingness to fight each other, as discussions regarding the event continue.
As the battle for online conversation supremacy intensifies, Threads represents Meta's strategic move to challenge Twitter's position, leveraging its vast user base and emphasizing stability amid Twitter's recent upheavals. Only time will tell whether Threads can truly disrupt Twitter's stronghold on public discourse.