Threads Vs Twitter
In a showdown reminiscent of a potential cage match between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, their respective companies are now engaged in an official battle. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has launched Threads, a standalone Twitter competitor built on Instagram’s account system.
The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, attributes Twitter’s “volatility” and “unpredictability” under Musk as the impetus for Meta’s decision to enter the competition. Mosseri describes Threads as a platform for “public conversations,” directly referencing Twitter’s long-established purpose.
While acknowledging Twitter’s pioneering role in the space, Mosseri believes there is an opportunity to build something open and beneficial for the existing Instagram community. Threads, Meta’s version of Twitter, has been in the works for some time. However, the recent backlash against Musk’s restriction on the number of tweets people can see per day expedited the app’s release. Internal company documents suggest Meta anticipates tens of millions of users trying Threads within the first few days.
Mosseri acknowledges that Threads is a risky endeavor, as it requires users to download a new app. However, Meta has streamlined the onboarding process by allowing users to populate their account information and follow list from Instagram. Although challenging, Meta recognizes that Twitter’s longstanding presence and unique network pose significant obstacles to unseating the platform. Mosseri emphasizes the importance of not underestimating both Twitter and Elon Musk, given their strong history and vibrant community.
Threads bears striking similarities to Twitter, featuring a main feed displaying posts (or “threads”) from followed accounts and recommendations from Instagram’s algorithm. Users can repost with their own commentary, and replies are prominently featured. Currently, there is no feed limited to accounts followed, but that may be added in the future. Posts on Threads can comprise up to 500 characters and include photos or videos up to five minutes long. For now, there are no ads, but Meta considers this a potential concern if Threads achieves substantial scale.
The app does not employ a paid verification system for additional functionality, but Instagram’s blue checkmarks will carry over to Threads accounts. Moderation actions taken by Meta on Threads accounts will not affect associated Instagram accounts, except for extreme cases involving child exploitation imagery. Thanks to the integration between Threads and Instagram, users can easily share posts from Threads to their Instagram story or feed. Additionally, sharing links to Threads posts in other apps is possible, aiding the app’s growth.
In preparation for the public release, Meta has been onboarding numerous celebrities from various domains, including Hollywood, music, sports, and business. Some notable names already spotted on the app include Karlie Kloss, Tony Robbins, Dana White, Gordon Ramsay, Ellie Goulding, Jack Black, Russell Wilson, and Brazilian pop star Anitta.
Initially available in 100 countries, excluding the European Union, Threads faces complexities related to compliance with forthcoming laws. Adam Mosseri alludes to the Digital Markets Act, which imposes new legal obligations on “gatekeeper” platforms like Meta. Meta’s future plans involve integrating Threads with ActivityPub, the decentralized social media protocol that powers Mastodon. However, this integration is not ready at launch.
Mosseri sees this move as an attempt to appease creators who are increasingly hesitant to rely on centralized social media companies. By offering an alternative where trust is not a long-term commitment, Mosseri believes Threads could become a more compelling platform for creators. Success for Threads, according to Mosseri, lies not only in its user base but in its cultural relevance.