Meta Platforms released its new “Twitter clone” app to millions of day-one signups and an interface that is very familiar to Twitter users.
- On Wednesday evening, Meta quietly launched its much-anticipated “Twitter-killer” app Threads, which allows users to sign in through an Instagram account.
- The app drew instant interest, with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg reporting that 30 million people joined it within the first 16 hours after its launch.
- Meta stocks are up 2.5% since the close of the market on Wednesday.
- Like Twitter, it allows users to post short text, videos, or image posts of up to 500 characters, seek verification, and follow popular celebrities, influencers, and politicians.
- Threads comes with the benefit of full integration with Instagram, decentralized independent servers providing new hosting features, integration with other apps like Mastodon, and less uncertainty about stability than Twitter.
- However, it does not have an individualized follower feed, an edit button, character counts for individual messages, direct messaging, ads, or the ability to search for keywords in other people’s posts.
Why It’s News
Threads is not the first attempt to create a Twitter-killer app. Mastodon, Bluesky, and Spill have already attempted to do this but largely failed, with an early mass exodus to Mastodon failing in November. Meta’s attempt is the largest and most high-profile attempt to date.
Threads is very much a “Twitter clone,” with The Wall Street Journal noting that it has “copied and pasted” a great deal of its interface from its rival social-media app. But Meta’s influence may be enough to popularize the new microblogging app—even if it lacks some of Twitter’s most valued features out of the gate.
The app is Meta’s attempt to edge its way into a potential opening in the social media landscape. Since Elon Musk purchased Twitter in October, he has drawn scrutiny for his chaotic leadership of the app—firing thousands of employees, letting the app become flooded with hateful content, drawing acrimony from advertisers, and most recently, imposing a temporary “rate limit” that limited unpaid users to viewing only 600 posts per day, as a means of grappling with “data scraping.”
Meta chief product officer Chris Cox reportedly snubbed Musk at a company meeting last month, having promised that Threads will be “sanely run” and receiving cheers from employees. Meta’s vice president of product Connor Hayes similarly noted that there’s a hunger among public figures and creators for an alternative to Twitter that “feels more productive and positive.”
As we previously reported, Threads began as Project 92 earlier this year and was first discussed with Meta employees last month.