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Millions dump Twitter for Meta’s Threads app

By Mary Fakorede

Meta Platforms, on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, launched a direct challenge to Twitter with Threads, garnering millions of users in hours.

Meta sought to take advantage of its rival’s much-weakened state after a series of chaotic decisions from Twitter owner, Elon Musk.

Those quick to join the new platform included celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez as well as prominent politicians, including Democratic U.S. Representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“Let’s do this. Welcome to Threads,” Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, wrote in his first post on the app alongside a fire emoji.

He said the app logged 10 million sign-ups in seven hours.

Zuckerberg also took to Twitter, posting a well-known meme of Spiderman facing off against Spiderman – in a humorous jab at the rivalry with Musk and between the two services.

Analysts have said Threads’ ties to Instagram might give it a built-in user base and advertising apparatus. That could siphon ad dollars from Twitter at a time when its new CEO is trying to revive its struggling business.

While Threads launched as a standalone app, users can log in using their Instagram credentials and follow the same accounts, potentially making it an easy addition to existing habits for Instagram’s more than 2 billion monthly active users.

“Investors can’t help but be a little excited about the prospect that Meta really has a ‘Twitter-Killer’,” the head of financial analysis at investment firm AJ Bell, Danni Hewson, said.

Others saw the launch of Threads as an opportunity to create a less toxic version of Twitter.

“May this platform have good vibes, strong community, excellent humor, and less harassment,” Ocasio-Cortez said in her post.

Much like Twitter, the app features short text posts that users can like, re-post and reply to, although it does not include any direct message capabilities.

Posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos, and videos up to five minutes long, according to a Meta blog post.

It is available in more than 100 countries on both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, the blog post said.

Meta stock closed up three percent on Wednesday ahead of the launch, outpacing gains by rival tech firms.

Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022, but its value has since plummeted amid deep staffing cuts and content moderation controversies that have alienated both users and advertisers.

Its latest move involved limiting the number of tweets users can read per day.

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