Can Zuckerberg’s New App Outmatch Musk’s Microblogging Giant?
In the wake of an online tiff between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, an even larger showdown is anticipated in the realm of social media. As per Anne Gaviola’s report, Meta is on the brink of introducing a fresh social media platform that has already been dubbed a “Twitter killer” by some.
Threads: Meta's Attempt to Challenge Twitter's Dominance
The social media battlefield is set as Mark Zuckerberg, Meta CEO, prepares to compete against Elon Musk, owner of Twitter. At the epicenter of the competition is Threads, Meta’s purported challenge to Twitter’s reign in the microblogging social media space.
Threads, a “text-based conversation app”, launched to users in Canada, the US, and more than 100 other countries recently. The app, which is linked to Instagram, boasts a Twitter-like microblogging experience. According to the Apple App Store listing, “Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow.”
Twitter Under Pressure: An Opportunity for Threads?
Twitter’s recent challenges under Musk’s ownership have triggered a series of changes, which have alienated many users and advertisers alike. Carmi Levy, a tech analyst, believes this could be Twitter’s demise, providing Meta’s Threads the perfect launch pad.
Despite a rise in user numbers for alternative microblogging sites such as Mastodon and Bluesky following Musk’s acquisition, they haven’t managed to threaten Twitter’s stronghold. However, Levy posits that Threads might succeed where others have failed.
Threads' "Killer Advantage"
The “killer advantage” of Threads, according to Levy, is the existing network users would have from their Instagram following. Unlike other platforms where users often need to start from scratch, Threads could potentially launch with enough content to take off running.
Yet, despite the ease of transition, it remains uncertain if users will flock to the new app. Matt Navarra, another industry analyst, suggests that the success of Threads may hinge on users’ discontent with Musk’s Twitter.
Possible Roadblocks: From Metaverse to Privacy Concerns
Even though Meta’s past successes with Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp could bode well for Threads, the slow uptake on the company’s metaverse initiative has instilled doubt in investor confidence. Further, the company’s reputation concerning user data privacy remains a key issue.
Daniel Tsai, a technology law professor at the University of Toronto, voices skepticism about Meta’s prospects. He suggests that Threads is part of Meta’s strategy to regain relevance in the social media domain after losing ground to TikTok in recent years.
Tsai also raises concerns over the profitability of microblogging, citing Twitter’s long-standing struggle to monetize its platform. The same fate could befall Threads, making it the next MySpace rather than the next Twitter.
As the era of big social media starts to wane post-pandemic, the launch of Threads may be seen as timely from a competitive perspective. However, it remains to be seen if the new app can successfully address past mistakes and capitalize on current opportunities in the social media landscape.