Over the years, Facebook has attempted to compete with Twitter in a variety of ways, including mimicking trademark Twitter features such as hashtags and trending topics.
But now, Facebook’s parent business is launching its most direct shot at Twitter yet.
Meta on Wednesday officially launched a new app called Threads, which is intended to offer a space for real-time conversations online, a function that has long been Twitter’s core selling point.
The app received 10 million sign-ups within seven hours of its launch, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on his verified Threads account.
The app appears to have many similarities to Twitter, from the layout to the product description.
The listing, which first appeared earlier this week as a teaser, emphasizes its potential to build a following and connect with like-minded people.
“The vision for Threads is to create an option and friendly public space for conversation,” Zuckerberg said in a Threads post shortly after the service’s launch.
“We hope to take what Instagram does best and create a new experience around text, ideas, and discussing what’s on your mind.”
He also replied to posts and discussed whether Threads will ever be bigger than Twitter.
“It will take time, but I believe there should be a public conversations app with 1 billion or more users.”
“Twitter had the opportunity but didn’t nail it,” Zuckerberg wrote on Threads. “Hopefully, we will.”
According to the app’s description, it is a place where communities can come together to discuss anything from current events to what’s trending.
“Whatever your interests are, you can follow and connect directly with your favorite creators and others who share your passion.
Or build your own loyal following to share your ideas, opinions, and creativity with the world,” it says.
According to Meta, messages posted to Threads will be limited to 500 characters.
The company stated that the app would be available in 100 countries through Apple’s iOS and Android platforms.
Users are prompted to link their Instagram accounts, customize their profiles, and follow the same accounts they already follow on Instagram after downloading the app.
The layout is similar to Twitter, with a text-based feed and the ability to repost and quote other Thread posts.
However, it also incorporates Instagram’s existing aesthetic and allows users to share posts from Threads directly to Instagram Stories.
Threads automatically verify verified Instagram accounts.
Thread accounts can be set to be public or private.
The new app joins a growing list of Twitter competitors, and given Meta’s vast resources and massive audience, it may pose the most serious threat to Twitter.
It also comes amid increased turmoil at Twitter, which had an outage over the weekend.
Followed by an announcement that the site had imposed temporary limits on how many tweets users could read while using the app.
Elon Musk, the founder of Twitter, stated that these restrictions were implemented “to address extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation.”
In response to the launch of Threads on Monday, he tweeted, “Thank goodness they’re so sanely run,” echoing reported comments by Meta executives that appeared to poke fun at Musk’s antics.
Musk has turned Twitter on its head since acquiring it in October, alienating advertisers and some of its most prominent users.
He is now looking for ways to revitalize the platform.
Twitter announced on Monday that TweetDeck, a tool that allows people to organize and easily monitor the accounts they follow, would soon require a fee.
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Twitter is also trying to take over Meta’s domain.
Twitter announced in May that encrypted messaging and calls would be added, potentially allowing the platform to compete with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, both of which are owned by Meta.
The escalating rivalry between the two companies appears to have exacerbated Musk’s feud with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
In response to a user’s tweet about Threads last month, Musk wrote, “I’m sure Earth can’t wait to be exclusively under Zuck’s thumb with no other options.”
Musk teased a cage match with Zuckerberg in a subsequent tweet.
In an Instagram story, Zuckerberg responded by posting a screenshot of Musk’s tweet with the caption “Send Me Location.”
Following the launch of the Threads app, Zuckerberg tweeted an image of two cartoon Spider-Men pointing at each other.