Facebook owner Meta has launched a new app called Threads, which appears to be a direct rival to Twitter.
Threads, which will be linked to Instagram, is available in app stores, after going live for users at midnight Thursday, UK time.
More than 10 million had joined worldwide within hours of its launch.
It is described as a “text-based conversation app… where communities come together”.
The new app is the latest chapter in the rivalry between Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, who bought Twitter in October – bringing in changes that have barely left the headlines since.
Musk tweeted about Meta as Threads launched, saying: “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram.”
How does Threads work?
The new app is free, connected to Instagram, and features a similar interface to Twitter.
And just like its rival, people can post, re-post and share their messages across platforms.
A ‘thread,’ on social media, describes a series of inter-connected posts.
The terminology is particularly strongly associated with Twitter, where users will tend to pen a string of posts on a point in reply to their original tweet.
Threads has an aesthetic similar to Instagram’s template for Twitter-style posts.
Instagram users will be able to keep the same username for their Threads app, and will be prompted to request to follow the same accounts they follow on Instagram.
Threads encourages people to ‘connect over conversation,’ and ‘share your point of view’ in text-based short posts.
Similarly to Twitter, Threads appears to have sharing options that appear to include a heart symbol used to ‘favourite’ posts, a reply function, a reshare button similar to the retweet function, and the ability to forward posts to private messages.
Promotional images also appeared to show a verified user’s blue tick carrying over from Instagram to Threads.
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.
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