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Meta launches Instagram Threads messaging app, challenging Twitter

Tech titans Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk are in a fierce business rivalry that has spilled over into a playground, with both men offering to fight in a cage.

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Meta officially launched its Twitter-like messaging app, Threads, which the company bills as Instagram’s “text chat app.”

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and co-founder of Meta, announced the launch of Threads on Wednesday, marking the official release of the social media giant’s new text messaging app. Threads represents Meta’s attempt to capture the surge of users who left Twitter amid the often unpredictable ownership of You’re here and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

The Threads app is now available for free download from the Apple App Store and Google Play online store in more than 100 countries, Meta said in a blog post. Threads shares the visual aesthetic of Twitter as a text-based social messaging app where users can post short messages that others can like, share and comment on, according to Threads screenshots available at the Apple App Store.

People will be able to follow the same Threads accounts they follow on Instagram and respond to other public messages in a similar way to how people use Twitter.

Zuckerberg said Threads crossed 5 million signups in the first four hours.

The official release comes after Instagram posted a pre-order for Threads on Apple’s App Store on Monday, which said the app was set to debut on July 6. Many Instagram users have also recently been able to get invites to access. Discussions from their Instagram accounts.

Although Threads is tied to Instagram, with users able to use their existing Instagram usernames, the messaging service is a separate app that users will need to download.

“Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from topics you care about today to what’s trending tomorrow,” Instagram said in a description of Threads on Apple’s App Store. “Whatever interests you, you can follow and connect directly with your favorite creators and others who enjoy the same things – or build a loyal following to share your ideas, opinions and creativity with the world.”

Meta said in the blog post that users’ individual feeds on the new messaging app will include “threads” that have been posted by other users they follow, in addition to recommended content shared by creators that users follow. users may not know.

People will be able to post Threads messages of up to 500 characters, and although the app is text-oriented, people will also be able to share links, photos and videos of up to 5 minutes. Instagram users will also be able to share their Threads posts through the app’s story feature in addition to “any other platform of your choosing,” the blog post says.

Meta said it developed Threads “with tools to enable positive and productive conversations,” and people will be able to manage who mentions or replies to them in the app.

“Like on Instagram, you can add masked words to filter out replies to your feeds that contain specific words,” the blog post says. “You can unfollow, block, restrict, or report a profile on Threads by tapping the three-dot menu, and any accounts you’ve blocked on Instagram will automatically be blocked on Threads.”

Race into the gap as Twitter implodes

Threads’ release comes as Twitter has suffered a spate of incidents under the ownership of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, leaving the popular social messaging app vulnerable to competing apps.

More recently, Musk said Twitter users will only be able to see a certain number of Tweets per day in a bid to address “extreme levels of data harvesting” and “system manipulation” on the messaging service.

Many Twitter users have publicly complained about Musk imposing a so-called temporary “rate limit” on Twitter, saying Tweet limits make the app less appealing.

BlueSky, a rival social messaging app backed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, said it saw “record traffic” after Musk announced Twitter’s rate limit, and temporarily suspended registrations to cope with the influx of new users, who currently need to be invited to use the application.

Like BlueSky, Threads will use decentralized technology that theoretically allows users to control and manage their data on other apps that incorporate the same underlying software.

While BlueSky is built on decentralized networking technology dubbed the AT Protocol, Threads will eventually integrate another decentralized technology called ActivityPub, Instagram manager Adam Mosseri said in a Threads post that was briefly publicly available on Wednesday. The ActivityPub software also powers another Twitter-like messaging app called Mastadon, which has also seen an influx of new users looking for an alternative to Twitter.

Mosseri said his team was unable to include support for ActivityPub in time for Threads’ official release due to “a number of complications that come with a decentralized network.” But he reiterated that support is coming.

“If you’re wondering why this matters, here’s a reason: You might one day end up leaving Threads or hopefully not being de-platformed,” Mosseri said. “If that happens, you should be able to take your audience with you to another server. Being open can allow that.”

Meta added in its blog post that ActivityPub will allow people without a Threads account to view Threads and interact with Threads users who have public profiles through other social apps that incorporate the same decentralized technology.

“If you have a public profile on Threads, that means your posts will be accessible from other apps, allowing you to reach new people without extra effort,” Meta said in the blog post. “If you have a private profile, you’ll be able to approve Threads users who want to follow you and engage with your content, just like you do on Instagram.”

Meta said Threads is the company’s first app “designed to be compatible with an open social networking protocol,” which it says could usher in “a new era of diverse, interconnected networks.”

In 2019, Meta, then known as Facebook, launched a messaging app for Instagram users, also called Threads. Unlike the current iteration of Threads which caters to text messages, the previous Threads app was more focused on people sending short video and photo messages to their friends as if they were using Snapchat.

Meta finally farm Threads in 2021 and redirected people to Instagram to see all of their previous Threads posts.


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