Instagram Threads App: Meta's Twitter Rival Gains Ten Million Users in Record Time | The Panoptic Pen -


Instagram Threads App: Meta's Twitter Rival Gains Ten Million Users in Record Time

In a bid to expand its social media empire, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, recently launched Threads, a standalone app that aims to rival Twitter. Within the first seven hours of its release, Threads attracted an astounding ten million users, signaling a potential shift in the social media landscape. Threads presents itself as a &quot;friendly&quot; alternative to Twitter, targeting users who may be dissatisfied with recent changes on the Twitter platform, including its ownership by Elon Musk. Let's delve deeper into the features and implications of the Instagram Threads app.<br> <br> Threads enables users to share posts of up to 500 characters, similar to Twitter's character limit. The app boasts a user interface reminiscent of Twitter, offering a familiar experience to those migrating from the microblogging giant. Meta's chief, Mark Zuckerberg, emphasizes the importance of maintaining a &quot;friendly&quot; environment as the key to Threads' success. However, Elon Musk responded with a touch of sarcasm, stating that being attacked by strangers on Twitter is preferable to the &quot;false happiness&quot; of Instagram.<br> <br> During a discussion on Threads, when asked if the app would surpass Twitter's popularity, Zuckerberg expressed his optimism, envisioning a public conversations app with over a billion users. While Twitter has had the opportunity to achieve this, it has yet to succeed. Meta hopes to fill this void with Threads, catering to a wide audience seeking engaging online interactions.<br> <br> Critics have raised concerns about the amount of data that Threads might utilize, including personal health, financial, and browsing data linked to users' identities. These concerns were highlighted in the Apple App Store's description. Despite these reservations, Threads has been made available for download in over 100 countries, excluding the EU due to regulatory uncertainties.<br> <br> Meta has positioned Threads as an &quot;initial version&quot; with future plans to introduce additional features. These features may include the ability to interact with users on other social media platforms, such as Mastodon, expanding Threads' reach beyond Instagram. The company's vision is to leverage Instagram's strengths in the realm of visuals and extend them to text-based interactions on Threads. Although Threads operates as a standalone app, users log in using their Instagram accounts, with the option to customize their profile specifically for Threads. Users can also choose to follow the same accounts they do on Instagram, blurring the lines between the two platforms. Threads provides the option to maintain privacy on Instagram while being public on the new app.<br> <br> The launch of Threads follows criticism of Meta's business practices, including prioritizing profits over user safety and privacy. The company faced a scandal involving third-party access to Facebook users' personal data, which included British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. Elon Musk alluded to these controversies, sarcastically praising Meta's management for being sanely run. While there are alternatives to Twitter, such as Bluesky and Mastodon, Threads holds a significant advantage due to its integration with Instagram and the extensive user base already present on the platform.<br> <br> Threads facilitates the sharing of posts between Threads and Instagram, allowing users to include links, photos, and videos of up to five minutes in length. However, some early users reported difficulties when uploading images, suggestingteething problems in the app's early stages. Threads presents users with a feed of posts, referred to as &quot;threads,&quot; from people they follow and also recommends relevant content.<br> <br> The app provides users with control over who can mention them and the ability to filter out replies containing specific words. Blocking, restricting, unfollowing, and reporting profiles are all possible on Threads, with Instagram blocking automatically applying to the new app as well. While Meta emphasizes the connection to Instagram, media coverage has drawn parallels between Threads and Twitter, with some investors even referring to Threads as a potential &quot;Twitter killer.&quot;<br> <br> Twitter's recent restrictions on the number of tweets users can see per day, implemented by Elon Musk, have fueled dissatisfaction among Twitter users. Musk has been actively promoting Twitter Blue, the platform's subscription service, while also announcing that the popular user dashboard TweetDeck will soon require a paid subscription. Many Twitter users have publicly expressed their discontent with the platform's direction under Musk's leadership, citing erratic behavior and political views.<br> <br> While Threads is available in the UK, its launch in the EU is currently on hold due to regulatory uncertainties, particularly surrounding the EU's Digital Markets Act. This legislation imposes rules on data sharing between platforms owned by large companies like Meta. The sharing of data between Threads and Instagram is a significant aspect of this issue. Nonetheless, Meta is exploring options for launching Threads in the EU, as it emphasizes the importance of protecting user privacy in its business operations.<br> <br> In conclusion, Threads has quickly gained traction as a promising competitor to Twitter, attracting millions of users within hours of its launch. With features reminiscent of Twitter and the advantage of its integration with Instagram's extensive user base, Threads presents a compelling option for those seeking public conversations and engaging online interactions. As the app evolves and additional features are introduced, it remains to be seen whether Threads will fulfill its potential as a true rival to Twitter or carve out a distinct space in the social media landscape.

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