Multinational technology conglomerate Meta, owner of Instagram, Facebook, and Whatsapp, has launched it latest social media app,Threads.
“Let’s do this,” announced Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday in a post, welcoming users to the newly-launched social media application.
“I think the world needs this kind of friendly community,” Zuckerberg said in an Instagram post. “And I’m grateful to all of you who are part of Threads from day one.”
The application has been hailed as a new competitor to Twitter. It bares similarity to Twitter in the sense that it allows users to provide real-time updates in text version, while also communicating with others and launching public conversations. Posts on threads can be up to 500 characters long and can include links, photos and videos of up to 5 minutes.
It is described as being a text-based version of Instagram, and is currently available in more than 100 countries including Lebanon, the United States, United Kingdom, and others. In the first few hours following its launch, the platform gathered more than 17 million users worldwide.
Threads has yet to launch in the European Union since there are ongoing negotiations between Meta and regulators over how to manage data sharing between the application and Instagram.
The launch of threads comes in light of ongoing developments in the Twitter-verse over the past few months. Twitter users have expressed frustration with recent changes in the application following Musk’s purchase of the company, the latest of which came this week when Musk throttled the number of tweets that nonpaying users are able to view per day.
Other changes have included imposing a monthly subscription fee for blue-tic verified users, adopting arbitrary policies after firing many former managers within the company, and disagreements over what constitutes freedom of speech on the platform.
In other related news, Meta-founder Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Elon Musk have often been caught sparring online, with the threats even going so far as to suggest the two physically fight each other in a cage fight.
All of this and more could provide indications as to why Meta chose to release Threads as of now. Following the launch, people on social media took to describing the application as a “Twitter killer”, as many expect the platform to overtake Twitter should Musk continue to introduce new restrictions and severe changes to the app.