Meta Takes Aim at Twitter with Launch of Threads

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Threads

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta has announced the launch of Threads, a new app developed by the Instagram team. This app is designed to provide a separate space for real-time updates and public conversations, whether you’re a creator or a casual poster. This comes at a time when Twitter, under Elon Musk’s leadership, seems to be losing momentum.

Threads: A New Way to Connect

Threads aims to extend Instagram’s photo and video sharing capabilities to text, creating a positive and creative space for users to express their ideas. Users can follow and connect with friends and creators who share their interests, just like on Instagram. Threads also comes with Instagram’s suite of safety and user controls.

Joining the Conversation

To get started with Threads, users simply need to log in with their Instagram account. Their Instagram username and verification will carry over, with the option to customize their profile specifically for Threads.

For users under 16 (or under 18 in certain countries), their profiles will default to private when they join Threads. The app also includes core accessibility features available on Instagram, such as screen reader support and AI-generated image descriptions.

Threads Feed and Profile

Threads feed includes posts by people you follow and recommended content from new creators. Posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes in length. Users can easily share a Threads post to their Instagram story or share their post as a link on any other platform.

Filtering Out the Noise

Threads is designed with tools to enable positive, productive conversations. Users can control who can mention them or reply to them within Threads. Like on Instagram, users can add hidden words to filter out replies to their threads that contain specific words. Users can also unfollow, block, restrict or report a profile on Threads.

Safety and Community Guidelines

Meta is taking safety seriously with Threads, enforcing Instagram’s Community Guidelines on content and interactions in the app. Since 2016, Meta has invested more than $16 billion in building up the teams and technologies needed to protect its users.

Interoperability with Other Networks

Threads is planning to become compatible with ActivityPub, the open social networking protocol established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This would make Threads interoperable with other apps that also support the ActivityPub protocol, such as Mastodon and WordPress.

The Future of Threads

Threads is Meta’s first app envisioned to be compatible with an open social networking protocol. The company hopes that by joining this fast-growing ecosystem of interoperable services, Threads will help people find their community, no matter what app they use.

Threads is rolling out today in more than 100 countries for iOS and Android. In addition to working toward making Threads compatible with the ActivityPub protocol, Meta will be adding a number of new features to help users discover threads and creators they’re interested in.

Blood in the Water? Meta Moves in on Musk?

Since Elon Musk purchased Twitter, there has been a constant stream of change within the company.

The Meta announcement launching Threads comes mere days after the latest controversial move from Musk.

User Complaints Surge

Thousands of Twitter users reported difficulties accessing the platform on Saturday. This wave of complaints comes in the wake of new restrictions implemented by owner Elon Musk, which limit most users to viewing a maximum of 600 tweets per day.

Musk’s Anti-Scraping Measures

Musk has described these restrictions as a measure to prevent unauthorized data scraping from the site. Data scraping, the process of extracting large amounts of data from websites, can potentially lead to misuse of valuable information.

Service Disruptions Post-Change

The service disruptions began a day after Twitter started requiring users to log in to view tweets and profiles. This marks a significant shift from Twitter’s long-standing practice of allowing unrestricted access to its content.

A Shift in Twitter’s Openness

Since purchasing Twitter for $44 billion (U.S.) last year, Musk has often promoted the platform as the world’s digital town square. This recent change, however, seems to contradict the openness that has been a hallmark of Twitter’s appeal. The impact of these new restrictions on user experience and Twitter’s reputation remains to be seen.

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