Meta set to launch Twitter rival as the latter stumbles

Social media giant Meta will apparently be launching Threads, a microblogging platform similar in function to Twitter, later this week.

No formal announcements have been made but the US Apple App Store is already offering a preview of Threads, which includes some screenshots that look decidedly Twittery.

Here’s what the description in that preview says: “Say more with Threads — Instagram’s text-based conversation app. Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow. Whatever it is you’re interested in, you can follow and connect directly with your favorite creators and others who love the same things — or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions and creativity with the world.”

Exactly how Meta plans to differentiate Threads from Twitter is unclear. The tweet below might suggest a somewhat more structured, constrained environment. But Twitter owner Musk, who has bizarrely agreed to an MMA style fight with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, seems sceptical.

The launch comes at a sensitive time for Twitter, with Musk having recently announced a cap on the number of tweets users can read per day, as well as making it mandatory to be signed in to Twitter before you can read any. This has angered a lot of users, some of whom see it as a way to coerce them into paying for a verified account, but Musk insists the measures are temporary.

There have been plenty of attempts to take on Twitter in the microblogging space over the years but none have succeeded. Thanks to the way Musk is running Twitter, and to some extent his personality in general, there is plenty of demand for an alternative. The problem for Meta and the others is that Twitter has built up its installed base over almost two decades. As long as that’s the place where everyone else is, why would you go anywhere else?


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