Threads: Ten million join Meta’s Twitter rival, Zuckerberg says
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Meta’s newly launched Threads app registered ten million users in its first seven hours, the company’s CEO said.

The app was positioned as a “friendly” rival to Twitter, which Elon Musk bought in October.

Several experts believe Threads could attract Twitter users who are unhappy with recent platform changes.

In addition to allowing users to post up to 500 characters, Threads also has many features similar to Twitter.

Zuckerberg told reporters earlier that maintaining the platform’s “friendliness… will ultimately make it successful.”

As Mr Musk responded, “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter than to indulge in Instagram’s false happiness.”

According to Mr Zuckerberg on Threads, the app should have at least a billion users, but it might take some time.

There have been opportunities for Twitter to do this, but they haven’t done it well. Hopefully we will succeed.”

The amount of data that might be used by the app has been criticized by competitors. In addition to health and financial data, Apple App Store may collect browsing data related to users’ identities.

In over 100 countries, Threads is now available for download, including the UK, but not yet in the EU.

‘Initial version’

A new app from Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, will offer extra features, such as interacting with people on other social media apps.

Prior to Threads’ launch, the firm said, “We want to take Instagram’s best features and expand them into text.”.

Despite Threads being a standalone app, users log in with their Instagram accounts. Threads allows users to customize their profiles specifically for Threads, while their Instagram username carries over.

Meta says users can follow the same accounts they follow on Instagram. Users can be private on Instagram, but public on Threads.

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Meta’s business practices were criticized before the release of the new app.

Earlier this year, Meta whistleblower Frances Haugen said the company had prioritized profits over safety.

Furthermore, the company was rocked by a scandal in which third parties were able to access personal data of Facebook users, including British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Mr Musk joked on Monday “Thank goodness they’re so sanely run” in reference to this controversial past.

Alternatives to Twitter include Bluesky and Mastodon, but these have struggled to gain traction.

In addition to being connected to Instagram, Threads has hundreds of millions of users already.

How does Threads work?

It is possible to share posts from Threads to Instagram and vice versa. You can include links, photos, and videos of up to five minutes.

Early users on Wednesday, however, reported problems uploading images, which may be related to teething issues.

Meta presents users with a feed of posts from their followers, which it calls “threads”.

They can control who can “mentioned” them and filter out replies that contain specific words.

Other profiles can also be unfollowed, blocked, restricted, or reported, and any accounts users block on Instagram are automatically blocked on Threads as well.

While Meta emphasizes its connection to Instagram, media coverage has emphasized its similarity to Twitter, with some investors describing the app as a “Twitter killer.”