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Mark Zuckerberg’s new social media platform has the ability to take over Twitter, site's former VP tells LBC

4 July 2023, 18:56

Meta’s Threads is launching to rival Elon Musk's Twitter
Meta’s Threads is launching to rival Elon Musk's Twitter. Picture: Getty/LBC
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Mark Zuckerberg’s new social media site ‘no doubt’ has the ability to overtake Twitter, the social media site's former Vice-President Bruce Daisley has told LBC.

Meta's Threads, seen as a direct competitor to Elon Musk's Twitter, is expected to launch globally on July 6th, according to an Apple store listing.

Mr Daisley, who was Twitter's VP between 2015 and 2020, says he has "no doubt" Threads has the potential to overtake Twitter due to the "formidable audience" on Meta's platforms.

"I think if we look at the audiences of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, all of them are somewhere between one billion and two billion users," Mr Daisley told LBC's Tonight with Andrew Marr.

"The one thing that Mark Zuckerberg has got any side is he's got a formidable audience. And so, if he just leverages some of that, then I think Twitter has somewhere around 350 million users often skewed towards English speaking countries.

"There's a huge opportunity if you do this well. I recognise the monopoly power of another social product being in the same hands. Maybe we can get around to break up the monopolies next."

Former Twitter Vice-President tells Andrew Marr that he ‘cannot wait’ for Meta’s Threads to launch

It comes as Mr Musk, who acquired Twitter for $44bn in October, faces a backlash from users for introducing a rate limit.

This imposes a limit on the number of tweets users can see, depending on whether they pay for Twitter Blue, as well as how long they have been on the platform.

While Twitter Blue subscribers have been able to see thousands of tweets a day, new, unverified users are limited to just 300.

Mr Musk said the move was to prevent mass data mining.

Read More: Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg launches 'new Twitter' after thousands desert Elon Musk's embattled platform

Read More: Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg to fight each other in cage match

It is not the first time Mr Musk has come under fire since his tenure as Twitter chief began in October 2022.

He faced widespread criticism for removing Twitter's blue verification ticks, which was often used by public figures to prevent account duplication.

The verification process was replaced with a paid subscription service, users of which are pushed to the top of people's feeds.

According to Mr Paisley, Twitter's "prickly" discourse has worsened under Mr Musk's tenure.

He told LBC: "It's certainly got an unpredictable quality to him. And it means that it's hard necessarily to second guess some of the decisions he's made.

"But probably one of the things that most people have observed is that if Twitter was previously characterised with having maybe a lot of unpleasant and sometimes prickly discourse, under Musk's leadership, it's got worse.

"Now, if we go to a tweet from a trusted source, the replies are almost always Elon Musk's bro army. And so, what it means is that we often find ourselves diverging from a high-quality discourse into a series of semi speculative or abusive tweets.

"You might have witnessed this yourself, Andrew, that the quality of insight that you get from Twitter has declined as a result."

The announcement of the social media app 'Threads'
The announcement of the social media app 'Threads'. Picture: Alamy

According to Twitter's former VP, a lot of online abuse started with UK politicians on the social media site.

"A lot of the abuse really started in the UK; politicians were abused here before they're abused anywhere else. The sort of tribal nature of football supporters here is something that they don't necessarily witness as closely in the US," he said.

"So, for a long time, we were the canary in the coal mine saying to management, look, let's make this a bit nicer.

"My personal hope is that we can create a version of social media that preserves some of these benefits without necessarily going completely into a total Mark Zuckerberg blackhole.’

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