Meta Reveals Launch of New Twitter Rival, Instagram Threads

Threads may be the first true alternative to Twitter launched following Elon Musk's takeover of the social media platform.

Clearly not content with confining his rivalry with Elon Musk to their hotly anticipated cage match, Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta has announced plans to roll out a Twitter rival called Instagram Threads.

Twitter has been in dire straits since Musk’s 2022 takeover. This is the first time a Big Tech company has directly tried to muscle in on the social media platform’s deeply dissatisfied user base, who were further incensed this week by Musk’s new cap on the number of tweets they’re able to view each day.

Threads is not the only Twitter alternative available, of course, but it’ll be able to lean on the experience, data, and technical infrastructure of a company that already owns a slew of huge social media applications, including Facebook and WhatsApp.

Meet Threads: Meta’s Latest Project

Threads is set to be released on Thursday, July 6. Perhaps most interestingly, users will reportedly be allowed to roll over their followers from Instagram and will be prompted into following similar pages on the new platform. The app will be formally called Instagram Threads, further indicating indicating its close Insta ties.

Threads – which will be a completely free service – is a space where users can “come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow,” according to its App Store listing.

“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,” the description continues.

Threads will join Facebook (~2.95 billion monthly users), WhatsApp (~2.78 billion monthly users), Messenger (~1 billion monthly users), and Instagram (over 1 billion monthly users) as the newest addition to Meta’s huge social media empire.

Can Meta Capitalize on Musk’s Twitter Posts Cap?

Crucially, Threads will not be enforcing viewing limits on posts like Elon Musk recently rolled out at Twitter. Musk said the controversial move was a reaction necessary to address “extreme levels of “data scraping & system manipulation”. The new measures appear doubly divisive given the fact that Twitter just appointed a new CEO in Linda Yaccarino, yet Musk still appears to be holding sway.

One unique thing about Elon Musk – which sets him apart from almost – is his tendency to taunt those voicing their discontent over his decisions shortly after they’re made. This time was no different.

“Oh the irony of hitting view limits due to complaining about view limits,” he tweeted after the change came into force.

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Along with Meta, his rash decision may have inadvertently helped his predecessor out. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s new app, Bluesky Social, received “record-high traffic” over the weekend.

Is Threads the Twitter Rival We’ve Been Waiting For?

A myriad of Twitter alternatives has come out of the woodwork since Musk’s tumultuous takeover of Twitter in late 2022. Mastodon was initially touted as a viable replacement, but interest in the app has cooled since the new year began. The number of active users declined sharply during January.

At the time, it was difficult to see Twitter ever being replaced, so long as the world’s most influential public figures stayed put and Musk didn’t run the social media platform into the ground with apparent impunity.

But an effort from a Big Tech company like Meta – with its technical infrastructure and a lot of existing skin in the game – coupled with a proverbial step too far from Musk in the shape of a post cap, could well tip an already disgruntled, disenfranchised userbase over the edge.

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Written by:
Aaron Drapkin is's Content Manager. He has been researching and writing about technology, politics, and society in print and online publications since graduating with a Philosophy degree from the University of Bristol six years ago. Aaron's focus areas include VPNs, cybersecurity, AI and project management software. He has been quoted in the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, The Daily Mail, Computer Weekly, Cybernews, Lifewire, HR News and the Silicon Republic speaking on various privacy and cybersecurity issues, and has articles published in Wired, Vice, Metro, ProPrivacy, The Week, and covering a wide range of topics.
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