Meta to join the conversation—launching Threads app to rival troubled Twitter

July 5, 2023

Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, is set to launch a new “conversation app” called Threads on Thursday, July 6. It is expected to compete directly with Twitter, reports NBC News.

The launch comes after a chaotic weekend, during which Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced a limit to the number of tweets users can view in one day.

A newly-launched website shows a countdown to Thursday’s launch and a listing on the Apple App Store describes Threads as “Instagram’s text-based conversation app.”

“Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow,” the app listing said.

“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 screengrab images show a text-based platform apparently similar to Twitter. The images also suggest users will be able to keep their Instagram username on the app. IPhone users will need to install iOS 14 or later to use it.

A spokesman for Meta declined to comment.

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey tweeted a picture of the data Threads will require users to share, to which Musk simply replied: “Yeah.”

Twitter users have been dismayed by the tweet-viewing limits. On Saturday, Musk said unverified users would only be able to read 600 tweets a day, which he then revised upwards to 1,000.

Verified users, who have paid up to $11 a month for access to the Twitter Blue subscription service, can see up to 10,000 posts a day.

Musk said the move was to deter “extreme levels of data scraping,” the automated collection of large amounts of data.

Twitter now charges as much as $5,000 per month for startups; and at least $42,000 a month for businesses and scaled commercial projects for access to its API, which allows developers to make products using tweets and was previously free.

Next month, Twitter will also make Tweetdeck—a web application with advanced search and posting functions—available to Twitter Blue subscribers only. Users must buy a subscription within 30 days to continue to use it.

Tweetdeck was built by a London-based entrepreneur using the open API, before the service was purchased by Twitter in 2011 for an estimated $40 million.

The choice of name for Meta’s new app is a significant nod to its main rival. A thread, or a linked series of tweets, has become one of the key features of Twitter since it was introduced as an official feature in 2017.

Since it launched in 2006 as one of several “microblogging” services in the social media explosion of the web 2.0 era, Twitter has become a standard part of daily life for many. Governments, businesses, sports teams, think tanks, journalists, and many other organizations use Twitter to communicate with audiences—giving it huge importance globally, even though its daily users are far fewer than those on Instagram and Facebook.

Research contact: @NBCNews