Mark Zuckerberg‘s ‘Twitter killer’ app Threads has launched overnight and has seen more than 10 million people sign up in its first few hours as Elon Musk rubbished it and claimed it spreads ‘false happiness’ like Instagram.
Threads, created by Facebook owners Meta, went live in the UK at midnight on Thursday and is trying to woo Twitter users with longer posts and accounts linked to their Insta. Threads is the top trending word on Twitter today.
Posting on the app, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg said: ’10 million sign ups in seven hours’. He also tweeted for the first time in 11 years – sharing a Spiderman meme obviously aimed at his bête noire Musk – after claiming Threads will outstrip Twitter’s 450million users.
The Twitter-lookalike app, which calls retweets ‘reposts’ and tweets are named ‘threads’, allows users to post up to 500 characters of text and up to five minutes of video and links, as well as pictures.
Threads has been nicknamed ‘Twitter Killer’ online amid animosity between the rival billionaires who have said they would like a cage fight with the Colosseum in Rome a potential venue. Musk appears to be more keen having repeatedly urged Twitter users to delete their Facebook accounts, calling the social network ‘lame’.
Chef Gordon Ramsay, pop star Shakira and Mark Hoyle, better known as the YouTuber LadBaby, have already joined and made their presence on the app known. Millions of others had preordered the app after its launch was announced earlier this week.
Threads is now available to download from both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for users in more than 100 countries including the UK. Millions have already signed up
After downloading the Threads app, users log in with their Instagram username. Posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos, and videos up to five minutes in length
The new app lets users filter out replies to your threads that contain specific words, as well as block other people from mentioning you
Gordon Ramsay, Shakira and Lando Norris are just a few celebrities who have already posted on Threads
Elon Musk gave his reaction
Mark Zuckerberg has tweeted for the first time in 11 years – sharing a Spiderman meme obviously aimed at his bête noire Musk
Elon Musk hit back and tweeted: ‘It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram’.
The new app is the latest chapter in the rivalry between Mr Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, who bought Twitter in October.
Mr Zuckerberg said yesterday: ‘I think there should be a public conversations app with 1 billion+ people on it. Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it. Hopefully we will.’
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.
Users of the new app will be able to use their Instagram login to get started and, like on the picture-sharing platform, can follow and connect with friends and influencers with similar interests.
In the UK, all users under 18 will be defaulted onto a private profile when they join.
Someone’s feed on the app includes threads from people they follow as well as recommended content from creators they have not yet heard of.
Threads posts can be shared on a user’s Instagram story and as a link on other platforms.
People can control who mentions them and who can reply to them on the new app, replies to threads containing specific words can be filtered out and other users can be unfollowed, blocked, restricted and reported.
Any accounts a user has blocked on Instagram will automatically be blocked on the new app and Instagram’s safety guidelines will be enforced on the new platform, Meta said.
The new rival to Twitter, Threads, unveiled their app for all to use on Thursday (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Niall Carson/PA)
Twitter boss Elon Musk (Brian Lawless/PA)
Eventually, the California-based company wants it to be possible for people without a Threads account to interact on the platform, which it hopes will usher in a ‘new era of diverse and interconnected networks’.
If and when this happens, if a user has a public profile their posts will be accessible from other apps while if they have a private one they will have to approve new followers.
Social media consultant and industry analyst Matt Navarra told the PA news agency the app is the ‘first credible threat’ to Twitter.
He said: ‘I think that Threads is the first real, credible threat to Elon Musk’s Twitter.
‘Users of Twitter are desperately looking for an exit from the platform to escape, and the existing options of rivals are fairly limited.
‘They all have the same big problem, which is you have to start from zero – it’s a network that is completely new.
‘One of the biggest benefits for Meta is that it’s building off the back of Instagram, where people are familiar and can also kick-start their following because it ties into the same social graph.’
He said that while users have an appetite for change, it would be weighed up against mixed public opinions on Meta.
He added: ‘Meta and Instagram comes with baggage, a bad name and bad press. People are very wary and sceptical of anything [Meta owner] Mark Zuckerberg does.’
Threads looks remarkably like Twitter. Users can use their Instagram username to post their thoughts – with or without pictures.
Mr Zuckerberg is trying to muscle in to grab Twitter users left fuming and threatening to leave after Musk put a limit on how many posts account holders can read a day. TweetDeck users are also fuming after Twitter also announced it is to become the next part of the company to be limited to users who have paid for verified status.
The billionaire SpaceX and Tesla boss has imposed temporary restrictions on Twitter users, citing problems with how many companies and websites are making use of Twitter’s data. The same restrictions do not apply to accounts who pay for a blue tick, usually held by celebrities, high-profile individuals and companies. They can view 10,000 posts a day compared to 1,000 by non-verified users.
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.
Thread’s launch comes after a period of uncertainty at Twitter since Mr Musk took over in October, with the billionaire restructuring the company, firing thousands and placing many features behind a subscription paywall.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced in mid-March that it was working on a new social network whose description made it a potential competitor to Twitter.
Threads will enable users to ‘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,’ according to its app store description.
Meta said: ‘We’re thinking about a decentralised, independent social network for sharing written messages in real time.’
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 app, 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 last night.
A new version of TweetDeck has been made available with the tweet giving instructions to update.
The announcement follows Mr Musk saying 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 and system manipulation’, had been increased to 1,000 later on Saturday.
Zuckerberg replied on his Instagram story, sharing a screenshot of Musk’s challenge, writing: ‘Send me location.’ The Meta CEO recently placed a jiu-jitsu tournament in May
Musk (right) challenged jiu-jitsu-trained Mark Zuckerberg to a ‘cage match’ after making a backhanded comment about Meta’s reported new development Threads
The interaction began after Musk commented about the Meta’s reported in-development app, saying: ‘I’m sure Earth can’t wait to be exclusively under Zuck’s thumb with no other options’
Musk added fuel to the fire by tweeting out that the bout could take place at the landmark
The stated aim of the decision was to limit the use of the social network’s data by third parties, in particular companies feeding artificial intelligence models.
But 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.
Mr Musk’s latest announcements to address data scraping have sparked a fierce backlash from Twitter users and ad experts said it would undermine new chief executive Linda Yaccarino, who started in the role last month.
The world’s richest tech titans vowed to throw it down in a cage fight last week in what would be a clash for the ages.
Both Zuckerberg and Musk are said to be keen to take their battle to the iconic venue with the latter even tweeting: ‘Some chance fight happens in Colosseum.’
The Italian Minister of Culture contacted Zuckerberg to offer to host the fight at the Colosseum
The proposal appears to have even gained traction as Zuckerberg’s team reportedly passed the offer on to Dana White, whose representatives have reached out to the Minister, the report added.
The Colosseum, one of the world’s seven wonders, is Rome’s most iconic landmark but has not hosted massive audiences inside for hundreds of years.
The nearly 2,000-year-old amphitheater can only seat a few hundred spectators inside on temporary seating.
In 2003, Sir Paul McCartney performed for 400 people who paid up to $1,500 for an exclusive charity show.
But now Zuckerberg and Musk could be set to put on a show worthy of rivaling the Roman’s gladiators.
There have been other concerts held outside the theatre but it’s unclear if Zuckerberg and Musk would throw it down inside or outside the landmark.