Millions Of Users Sign In
Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, made a bold move on Wednesday by launching Threads, a direct competitor to Twitter. The new platform gained a massive influx of users within hours, capitalizing on Twitter's weakened position following a string of tumultuous decisions made by its owner, Elon Musk.
- Notable figures like Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, and Democratic U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were among the early adopters of Threads.
- The app had garnered 10 million sign-ups in just seven hours and 100 million in its first week.
- Industry analysts have pointed out that Threads' integration with Instagram could give it a distinct advantage by tapping into its existing user base and advertising infrastructure.
- This could potentially divert advertising revenue away from Twitter, which is currently struggling under the leadership of its new CEO, who is attempting to revive the platform's fortunes.
While Threads launched as a standalone app, users can conveniently log in using their Instagram credentials and follow the same accounts, making it a seamless addition for the more than 2 billion monthly active users on Instagram.
Optimists Investors And Users
Danni Hewson, head of financial analysis at investment firm AJ Bell, remarked, "Investors can't help but be a little excited about the prospect that Meta really has a 'Twitter-Killer'." For others, the launch of Threads represents an opportunity to create a less toxic alternative to Twitter. Ocasio-Cortez expressed her hopes for the platform, stating, "May this platform have good vibes, strong community, excellent humor, and less harassment."
- Similar to Twitter, Threads allows users to share short text posts, like, repost, and reply to others' content. However, it does not include direct messaging functionality. According to a blog post by Meta, posts on Threads can be up to 500 characters long and may contain links, photos, and videos of up to five minutes.
- The app is available in over 100 countries through Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store, as stated in the blog post.
On the day of the launch, Meta's stock closed up 3%, surpassing the gains made by rival tech companies.
Succeeding Where Twitter Failed
With Twitter's vulnerability becoming increasingly evident, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has seized the opportunity to strike. Musk's acquisition of Twitter for $44 billion last October has proven to be a precarious investment, as the platform's value has plummeted due to significant staff reductions and controversies surrounding content moderation, leaving both users and advertisers disenchanted. The latest blow came in the form of restricting the number of tweets users can read per day.
- Zuckerberg acknowledged the difficulties associated with managing large public social media platforms, expressing his belief in the necessity of a public conversation app with over a billion users.
- He noted Twitter's failure to achieve this and expressed hopes that Meta would succeed where Twitter failed.
Building And Growing A New Platform
In integrating Threads with Instagram, Meta has made efforts to address privacy concerns. When Instagram users sign up for Threads, an optional badge is added to their profile, which they can choose to hide. Furthermore, users are provided with different privacy settings for each app. Shortly after the launch, popular brands such as Billboard, HBO, NPR, and Netflix swiftly established their presence on Threads. Notably, the app did not display any advertisements, according to a review conducted by Reuters.
- To bolster the growth of Threads, Meta has been reaching out to social media influencers, enticing them to join the new platform and encouraging them to post a minimum of two times a day, as revealed by Ryan Detert, CEO of Influential, an influencer marketing company.
- Threads also benefits from the inability of other Twitter competitors to capitalize on the platform's missteps. While several emerging alternatives, including Mastodon, Post, Truth Social, and T2, have attempted to lure Twitter users away, they have remained relatively small in scale thus far.
- Bluesky, a new service supported by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, launched its invite-only beta version in February, initially sparking high demand for access codes. As of April, its website reported having 50,000 users. Dorsey has also backed another platform called Nostr.
It is important to note that Meta has experienced setbacks in the past when attempting to launch standalone apps to rival existing platforms. Notably, its Lasso app aimed at competing with the short-video sensation TikTok failed to gain traction. Instead, Meta incorporated a similar short video feature called Reels directly into Instagram. More recently, the company scaled back its efforts in designing experimental apps by winding down its dedicated unit.
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