Threads: The New Social Media Platform Making Waves in the Tech World

2023-07-06 00:38:05

“Let’s go. Welcome to Threads,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his Threads account, a post that garnered several thousand “likes” within minutes, a sign of the newcomer to the world’s booming start. social networks.

If it were acquired that the site would not be accessible in the European Union, Meta did not communicate more about its availability elsewhere than in the United States. “Instagram’s text chat app.” This is the description of Threads on the Apple Store.

“We hope (Threads) can be an open and welcoming platform for discussion,” Instagram boss Adam Mosseri wrote. “If that’s what you want too, the best way is to be kind.”

In fact, the presentation of this new application appears close to that of Twitter, with a general thread, on which there are already many accounts of institutional players, in particular Netflix or that of the specialized information site The Hollywood Reporter.

“Existential Threat”

The posting of Threads comes just four months after the first echoes of the project leaked out, and only a few days after a new episode at Twitter, whose social network emerged weakened.

On Saturday, the main shareholder Elon Musk announced the establishment, officially on a provisional basis, of a limit to the number of messages that can be consulted per account and per day, which took users, advertisers and developers the wrong way.

A decision which comes after several other badly received since the takeover of the billionaire, in particular the transformation into a paid service of the verification of an account or the dismissal of almost all of the content moderation teams. On Monday, Twitter also revealed that the TweetDeck dashboard, which is very popular among active users, will soon only be accessible to verified, and therefore paying, accounts.

“The timing is very good for Meta,” commented Jonathan Taplin, author of two books on the tech giants, including “The End of Reality”, to be published in September. “There are loads of people who have an almost religious resistance to anything related to Elon Musk.” For him, Threads does represent an existential threat to Twitter.

“Meta Family”

However, the immediate impact of this launch could be limited by the fact that Meta has chosen to wait before offering Threads to residents of the European Union. The giant wants to take the time to clarify the consequences for the company and its products of the new digital market regulations (DMA), which came into force in early May, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The DMA aims to impose specific rules on essential Internet companies, in particular Meta, to avoid anti-competitive practices. Meta makes no secret of the synergies on which he intends to rely to rapidly grow his newborn, presenting him from the outset as an offshoot of Instagram.

The latter “is the most successful product of the Meta family”, recalls Pinar Yildirim, professor of marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “They couldn’t associate this new product with Facebook, because that name no longer appeals to anyone.”

Launching ramp

With more than two billion active users, Instagram gives Threads a launch pad that Twitter’s smaller competitors, from Mastodon to Bluesky, to ultra-conservative favorites like Truth Social, couldn’t have dreamed of. Speak, Gettr or Gab. Threads thus allows Instagram users to be authenticated with their existing identifiers to post content on the new platform.

“The equation is simple: if an Instagram user with a significant number of followers, like (Kim) Kardashian or (Justin) Bieber or (Lionel) Messi starts posting on Threads regularly, this new platform could grow. quickly and I think ad budgets would follow in a tight timeframe,” analyst Brian Wieser wrote on Substack. A few celebrities seemed to already have accounts on Threads when it launched, including singer Shakira, model Karlie Kloss and actor Jack Black.

This prospect is potentially all the more worrying for Twitter as the San Francisco group has seen its revenue melt since the arrival of Elon Musk at its head. An exodus that has not yet managed to stem the new CEO, Linda Yaccarino, arrived a month ago at Twitter but very silent so far.

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