Meta, the company that owns Facebook, is set to launch a new app called Threads to directly compete with Twitter. The app, which can be pre-ordered on the Apple App Store, will be integrated with Instagram. Screenshots of Threads reveal a dashboard similar to Twitter, and Meta describes it as a “text-based conversation app.”
This development further intensifies the rivalry between Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, and Twitter’s owner, Elon Musk. Their feud escalated last month when they jokingly agreed to a physical fight, although the seriousness of their intentions remains uncertain. Musk took another swipe at Zuckerberg when he sarcastically commented on a tweet about Threads, stating, “Thank goodness they’re so sanely run.”
In response, Twitter announced that its popular user dashboard, TweetDeck, will become a paid service in 30 days. Musk has been actively promoting Twitter’s subscription service, Twitter Blue, in his ongoing efforts to attract more users. Recently, he restricted the number of tweets users could view, citing concerns over “data scraping.”
From the information available, Threads appears to be a free service without any limitations on the number of posts users can access. The App Store description highlights that Threads is a platform where communities can engage in discussions on various topics. The app’s interface closely resembles Twitter, with screenshots showcasing its similarities.
As a Meta app, Threads is expected to collect data from users’ devices, including location data, purchase history, and browsing activity. Notably, other Twitter-like apps have emerged in recent years, such as Donald Trump’s Truth Social and Mastodon. Bluesky, another similar app, reported increased traffic following Musk’s decision to limit Twitter usage.
However, Threads poses the most substantial threat to Twitter thus far. Mark Zuckerberg has a history of adopting successful ideas from other companies and making them work. Meta’s Reels is widely regarded as a TikTok imitation, while Stories bears similarities to Snapchat. With Meta’s extensive resources and the integration of Threads with the Instagram platform, which boasts hundreds of millions of accounts, it has a head start compared to other potential rivals.
While Musk has received praise for his support of free speech, he has also alienated some users. Zuckerberg hopes to capitalize on user dissatisfaction with Twitter and lure them to Threads, thereby creating a genuine alternative to the popular microblogging platform.