Ever since Elon Musk’s announcement last week about reducing the number of tweets users can view per day, social media has been filled with panic and uncertainty regarding the future of the microblogging platform, Twitter.
Once a popular channel for communication, witty comebacks, and engaging discussions among academia, media, and political insiders, Twitter has experienced a decline in both users and advertisers in the past ten months since Musk took charge of the company.
Competitors such as Bluesky, Truth Social, and Mastodon have emerged as alternatives, seeking to accommodate Twitter users who are looking for a new platform.
However, Bluesky’s exclusivity, with users requiring an invitation to join akin to Clubhouse, hinders its appeal for those seeking quick banter and peacocking.
Recently, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, entered the race with its Twitter rival called Threads by Instagram, which the American media has dubbed the “Twitter killer.”
This introduction gives Twitter users, who have been critical of Musk’s role as a modern media baron, a reason to rejoice and dismiss his authority over the “de facto town square.”
Threads By Instagram Launches Despite Twitter Woes
Threads by Instagram was briefly available on the web but is now live on app stores, presenting the most formidable challenge to Twitter thus far.
Instagram users will find it convenient to transition to the new platform. While Twitter boasts over 450 million monthly active users as of 2022, Instagram has a staggering user base of over 2.35 billion monthly active users. According to Zuckerberg, just four hours after Threads went live in app stores, signups exceeded 5 million.
Moreover, Instagram users can automatically follow all the accounts they currently follow on Threads. Another notable feature is the fediverse integration, which allows users from other web publishing and social media platforms to interact with each other through interconnected servers.
With the integration live, Threads is already promoting this feature, highlighting the potential for direct interaction with Mastodon and other platforms with fediverse integration.
However, Meta faces concerns related to data privacy, an issue that has plagued the company for years. Mandatory privacy disclosures on iOS reveal that Threads may collect highly sensitive user information, including health and financial data, precise location, browsing history, contacts, search history, and other sensitive details.
Such data collection practices may pose a challenge for Meta, especially in the face of criticism against Facebook’s data policies and increasing global efforts to regulate social media giants.
Meta has long positioned itself as a platform friendly to children, which could become a threat if Threads surpasses Musk’s Twitter.
Twitter, on the other hand, has been known as a space for adults to engage in public conversations. Additionally, beyond its reputation as a platform for academics, journalists, and politicians, Twitter has also become a hub for adult industry performers, with discussions ranging from fake orgasms to preferences in adult film stars.
Threads, like Instagram, do not allow users to save pictures, but with the prevalence of screenshots, the need for saving pictures becomes less crucial.
Furthermore, Zuckerberg seems prepared to compete with Musk for social capital, even if it means generating clickbait articles.
Threads bear a striking resemblance to Twitter, with similar icons for liking, commenting, reposting, and even a share icon with a “tweet” feature, complete with the bird icon.
While Musk is not one to shy away from battles, his reputation precedes him. In his clash with the newsletter platform Substack, he took measures to block tweet previews in an attempt to prevent users from embedding tweets into their posts.
When Elon Musk recently mentioned wanting “a cage fight” with Zuckerberg, reminiscent of the old days, the CEO of Threads, with his experience in jiu-jitsu, responded by saying, “Send me the location.” Now, the location has arrived, and the battle between the two tech moguls is set to begin.
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