It’s been a bumpy road, to say the least, on the wild ride that has been Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover. But, it’s looking like it might be about to crash for good. Facebook parent company Meta is set to launch a rival to the infamous bird app in the US on Thursday 6 July 2023 in the form of a platform named Threads, aptly dubbed as—“an Instagram app.” So, what’s different about Facebook’s version of the app, and should any of us care?
Mark Zuckerberg’s attempt at a Twitter-style app appears to offer very few differences so far, aside from a promise that the app will be “sanely run.” The platform will be first and foremost a “text-based conversation app,” much like Twitter aspires to be, although deep down we know these apps are in reality hotspots for flame wars, leaks, and cancel threads. Hey, I just got the name.
Zuckerberg is directly ripping off the notorious threads that have long been synonymous with Twitter. I won’t lie, I’m kind of here for this catty behaviour from tech billionaire Zuckerberg, I didn’t know he had it in him. Although saying that, the semi-fictional plot of The Social Network did always suggest he had a petty streak.
Screenshots that have appeared on the Apple store listing for the app show a clean user interface and a recognisable layout, one that won’t alienate anyone planning to jump ship from Musk’s dumpster fire of an app.
Zuckerberg hopes to make the transition even easier for hesitant netizens by allowing them to log in with their already up and running Instagram account, and even import their existing followers from the app.
Musk sparked the fury of Twitter users over the weekend by rate-limiting the amount of posts that could be viewed by non-paying accounts. A move by Musk to limit “data scraping” of the website, but more than likely a ploy to squeeze more money out of its users. In stark contrast to this, Threads will have no subscription plans and no limits on the amount of content its users can view.
Plus, with the news that TweetDeck will soon be going behind a paywall, it’s almost as if Elon wants his app to fail. The Tesla CEO is making it way too easy for his future cage match opponent.
Although Threads seems as though it’ll be a decent alternative to Twitter, users online were quick to point out the amount of data Meta is already asking from you when you sign up for the new platform.
Although this prospect might be scary to the more data-protective internet dwellers, I’m already on Instagram, so I know Zuckerberg has all this information anyway. I’ve already sold my soul to the data devil, but if information hoovering is something that worries you, Threads may not be an ideal solution to the Twitter problem—you might want to try Mastodon, or T2 Social instead.
It’ll be interesting to see how Threads approaches freedom of speech and censorship, issues that have been a huge part of the Twitter discourse, and something that is allegedly very close to Musk’s heart, despite his repeated hypocrisy surrounding it.