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Meta takes aim at Twitter with new Threads app

2023-07-04 19:17
The rivalry between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk has just kicked up a notch.
Meta takes aim at Twitter with new Threads app

The rivalry between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk has just kicked up a notch.

Zuckerberg's Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, has teased a new app that is set to take on Twitter by offering a rival space for real-time conversations online.

The app is called Threads and it is expected to go live Thursday, according to a listing in the App Store. The app appears to have many similarities to Twitter — the App Store description emphasizes conversations, as well as the potential to build a following and connect with like-minded people.

"Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what'll be trending tomorrow," it reads.

"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 move by Meta comes amid a fresh bout of turmoil at Twitter, which experienced an outage over the weekend, followed by an announcement that the site had imposed temporary limits on how many tweets its users are able to read while using the app.

Musk, the platform's billionaire owner, said these restrictions had been applied "to address extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation."

Commenting on the launch of Threads Monday, Musk tweeted: "Thank goodness they're so sanely run," parroting reported comments by Meta executives that appeared to take a jab at Musk's erratic behavior.

Since taking Twitter private in October, Musk has turned the social media platform on its head, alienating advertisers and some of its highest-profile users.

He is now looking for ways to return the platform to growth. Twitter announced Monday that users would soon need to pay for TweetDeck, a tool that allows people to organize and easily monitor the accounts they follow.

Twitter is also attempting to encroach on Meta's domain.

In May, Twitter added encrypted messaging and said calls would follow, developments that could allow the platform to compete with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, also owned by Meta.

Musk and Zuckerberg's rivalry could soon extend beyond business and into the ring. Last month, the two men discussed the possibility of a cage fight, with the Las Vegas arena that hosts the Ultimate Fighting Championship seemingly the favorite location for the match.