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

4 July 2023, 08:11 | Updated: 4 July 2023, 11:40

Threads, from Mark Zuckerberg's Meta, is due to launch later this week
Threads, from Mark Zuckerberg's Meta, is due to launch later this week. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Facebook owner Meta is launching a new app to rival Twitter this week.

The app, called Threads, which will be linked to Instagram. It is available for pre-order in the Apple App Store and will go live on Thursday.

It is described as a "text-based conversation app... where communities come together".

The announcement comes as people are starting to reject Twitter after a series of changes brough in by Elon Musk - compounded after people were ‘locked out’ - limiting the number of tweets people could read in a day.

Verified accounts were limited to reading 6,000 posts per day and unverified accounts 600 posts per day.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO said he had imposed the “temporary limit” to “address extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation” by third-party platforms.

The change sparked people tweeting ‘RIP Twitter’ and ‘Goodbye Twitter’ yesterday as frustration spread and people chose to leave the social media platform.

The blurb for the rival app Threads on the Apple website reads: "Say more with Threads — Instagram’s text-based conversation app.

"Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow.

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The launch date of threads is July 6 according to the App store
The launch date of threads is July 6 according to the App store. Picture: Apple

"Whatever it is you’re interested in, you can follow and connect directly with your favourite creators and others who love the same things — or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions and creativity with the world."

Screenshots from the App's Google Play listing show how you can log in with your Instagram handle, find the accounts you follow on Instagram on the new app, and post in an interface similar to Twitter.

Threads will enable users to "connect directly with your favorite creators and others who love the same things - or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions and creativity with the world."

Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk are going head to head in their battle for social media
Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk are going head to head in their battle for social media. Picture: Alamy

"We're thinking about a decentralised, independent social network for sharing written messages in real time," Meta said in a statement.

The new app is the latest chapter in the rivalry between Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, who bought Twitter in October.

Last month the pair - two of the world's most high-profile billionaires - agreed to take each other on in a cage fight in an exchange that went viral on social media.

The arrival of the new app comes after Twitter announced TweetDeck is to become the next part of the company to be limited to users who have paid for verified status.

The application, which allows users to manage multiple feeds and searches, will only by accessible to verified users in 30 days, according to a tweet from Twitter Support on Monday evening.

A new version of TweetDeck has been made available with the tweet giving instructions to update.

The announcement follows Mr Musk announcing two days earlier that users were being limited to reading 600 posts a day.

He said the limit, which had been introduced "to address extreme levels of data scraping & system manipulation", had been increased to 1,000 later on Saturday.

The restrictions could result in users being locked out of Twitter for the day after scrolling through several hundred tweets.

Verified users - who have paid for a subscription to Twitter Blue or are considered "notable" - can read up to 10,000 posts daily after initially being limited to 6,000.

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