Meta creates new social media buzz with new Threads app

Meta (NASDAQ: META) has officially introduced its new Threads app designed to rival Twitter, which has already garnered over 30 million users in just two days.

Launched Wednesday, Threads offers users an alternative to Elon Musk’s social media platform, providing a space for real-time updates and public conversations.

Developed by Instagram, which is owned by Meta, Threads has been in the works for several months. Meta has actively recruited celebrity users who have abandoned Twitter in protest of Mr. Musk’s often erratic leadership.

Threads’ initial version bears similarities to Twitter, allowing users to share updates of up to 500 characters, along with links, photos, and videos up to five minutes long. Users can engage with posts by liking, reposting, replying, or quoting a thread. The app enables users to log in using their existing Instagram accounts, encouraging them to connect with the celebrities, creators, and friends they already follow on the photo-sharing platform.

Meta plans to enhance Threads with additional features, including improved recommendations, hashtags and an advanced search function. These updates aim to help users discover new creators, follow topics, and stay informed about real-time trends just as you can with the blue bird. With its entry into the microblogging space, Meta presents a significant challenge to Twitter, which has faced difficulties in converting users into paying subscribers through its ‘Twitter Blue’ offering.

However, the launch of Threads has raised concerns regarding data privacy. The app has the potential to collect personal information, including health data, financial information, location details, search history, and browsing history. These privacy implications have prompted valid questions about how Meta will handle and safeguard user data, particularly in light of the EU’s stringent data privacy regulations.

The integration of Threads with Instagram exhibits a conscious effort to prioritise privacy. Users signing up for Threads through Instagram receive a badge on their profile, which can be hidden at their discretion. The app also offers different privacy settings for individual applications.

At a time when Twitter is defensively manoeuvring, Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of the platform last October has resulted in a downward spiral. Deep staffing cuts and controversies surrounding content moderation have estranged users and advertisers alike. Adding to the turmoil, Twitter recently imposed restrictions on the number of tweets users can read per day.

So the question remains: Can Threads disrupt Twitter’s dominance? Only time will tell whether Meta’s latest endeavor can truly challenge the microblogging giant, or if Twitter will maintain its firm grip by stepping up its game.