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Meta’s Threads App Emerges as a Text-Based Competitor to Elon Musk’s Twitter

In a bold move to rival Elon Musk’s Twitter, Meta’s Instagram has introduced Threads, a text-based conversation application that is now available in approximately 100 countries. Previously undergoing closed beta testing, the app can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store for iOS devices and Google Play for Android.

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, greeted users with enthusiasm in his inaugural post on Threads. Threads is designed as a platform for communities to engage in discussions about various subjects, connect with their favourite creators, and cultivate a following to share their ideas, opinions, and creative works.

What sets Threads apart from other Twitter alternatives is its integration with Instagram, allowing users to retain their existing usernames and follow the same accounts. Officially known as “Threads, an Instagram app,” it seamlessly bridges the gap between the two platforms. The app permits users to share text posts of up to 500 characters, as well as photos and videos with a maximum duration of five minutes.

However, it currently lacks a direct messaging feature. Meta representatives have announced their plans to make Threads compatible with ActivityPub, an open social networking protocol supported by platforms like Mastodon and WordPress, with the intention of fostering interoperability with other social networks. Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, envisions Threads as an open and welcoming platform for conversations.

While Instagram boasts over 2 billion monthly active users, it remains uncertain how many users will embrace Threads, given its emphasis on text-based content rather than the image and video-centric nature of Instagram. To ensure privacy and accessibility, Threads automatically sets profiles as private by default for users under the age of 16 (or 18 in certain countries).

Additionally, Meta has implemented core accessibility features such as screen-reader support and AI-generated image descriptions, which are already available on Instagram, for a seamless user experience on Threads. The launch of Threads coincides with recent technical difficulties faced by Elon Musk’s Twitter.

Musk claimed that temporary restrictions on post reading were implemented on Twitter to address concerns about data scraping and system manipulation. Meta previously expressed its interest in developing a separate decentralized social network for sharing text updates, specifically targeting creators and public figures to share timely updates about their interests.

While both Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk have engaged in playful banter regarding a potential physical confrontation, it remains unclear whether the two billionaires will ever actually face off in such a manner.

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