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Meta launches Threads, a competitor to Twitter, ahead of schedule

Threads is built into Instagram and requires an Instagram account to use. The app is designed for mobile devices.
Meta launches Threads, a competitor to Twitter, ahead of schedule
Posted at 6:43 PM, Jul 05, 2023

Facebook owner Meta has launched Threads, a new social network that competes directly with Twitter, a day ahead of schedule.

Threads, which is built into Instagram, provides a text-centric experience. Meta calls it "a new, separate space for real-time updates and public conversations." It was originally expected to launch on Thursday.

Threads appears to provide a user experience much like Twitter's: Users can like, share and reply to posts, which are called "threads." Counters show the engagement of each message, and the app permits links, photos and videos in messages.

"Our vision is that Threads will be a new app more focused on text and dialogue, modeled after what Instagram has done for photo and video," Meta said.

Threads is designed as a mobile application and, at time of launch, does not appear to have a desktop client.

SEE MORE: Twitter temporarily restricts how many tweets can be seen in a day

The app is expected to directly challenge Twitter, which under Elon Musk's ownership has seen rapid changes. For example, Musk in recent weeks has announced that users will be limited in the number of tweets they can read each day, and that blue check marks can be purchased for an $8 a month fee.

The changes have for months pushed users and advertisers away from Twitter's platform.

Threads users will need an existing Instagram username, or a new Instagram account.

The app is available for download in the Apple and Google app stores, in more than 100 countries.

It won't be available in the 27-nation European Union right away, however. The EU has strict privacy rules, and Meta has told regulators there that it doesn't plan to launch Threads for EU users yet.

Threads will also compete with a crop of recent Twitter alternatives, including the not yet launched Bluesky, a project by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey; as well as Spill and Mastodon.

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