Zuckerberg's 'Twitter Killer,' Threads, Goes Live

Meta boss announces launch with a dig at the competition
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2023 1:30 AM CDT
Updated Jul 5, 2023 7:30 PM CDT
Zuckerberg's Twitter Rival Comes This Week
This combo of file images shows Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, left, and Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.   (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, Stephan Savoia)
UPDATE Jul 5, 2023 7:30 PM CDT

Threads, Meta's text-based messaging app that looks a lot like Twitter and is intended to challenge that platform, went live Wednesday. Mark Zuckerberg made the announcment in a post to his Threads account, including a shot at Twitter. He said his intention is for Threads to remain "friendly as it expands," adding "Twitter never succeeded" at that. "We want to do it differently," Zuckerberg said. The Washington Post has a Threads primer here that includes how to sign up.

Jul 4, 2023 1:30 AM CDT

Facebook and Twitter have long been rivals in the social networking space, but now it appears Mark Zuckerberg is taking things up a notch. The Facebook founder is expected to launch on Thursday what the Wall Street Journal refers to as a "Twitter clone" and what social media analysts see as a "formidable competitor" for the Elon Musk-owned site, which continues to experience quite a bit of chaos. The New York Times reports some "techies" are calling Zuck's app a "Twitter killer." "Threads" is a microblogging app that will join Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram under the umbrella of parent company Meta. And analysts say Meta's decision to use its Instagram user base to build Threads' user base could allow it to grow more quickly than other startup would-be Twitter rivals like Mastodon, Truth Social, and Bluesky.

The app will allow Instagram users to log in using their Instagram account, keep their username from that platform on the new platform, and to follow people they already follow on Instagram. According to the Times, the app, which has a preview page on Apple's App Store that says it will be available to download Thursday, "appears to function much like Twitter," and reflects Zuckerberg's long-held desire to "provide the central place for public conversation online." Per the Times, internal conversations at Meta have been centered on how to use the Musk-fueled drama at Twitter to its advantage, and executives at Zuck's company have emphasized the fact that their app will be "sanely run." Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey tweeted a screenshot of Threads' data policy along with an apparent reference to privacy concerns; Musk replied simply, "Yeah." (Speaking of drama at Twitter...)

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