Facebook owner, Meta is launching a new app to rival Twitter this week, in the latest chapter in the rivalry between tech tycoons Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk.
The app called ‘Threads’ will be linked to Instagram, and is now available for pre-order in app stores for iPhone and Android phones before it goes live this Thursday.
Listed as ‘Threads, an Instagram app,’ the software is described on Apple’s app store as ‘Instagram’s text-based conversation app… where communities come together’,
Experts said the Instagram link means Threads has ‘the potential to become hugely impactful to Twitter’ and is ‘by far the biggest threat that Elon Musk has faced so far’.
It appeared all Apple users could see it on their app store today, but Android users could only see it on the Google Play Store in certain countries – not including Britain.
The plans from Meta have been announced just days after Tesla billionaire Mr Musk announced a temporary cap on how many posts users can read on Twitter
The BBC’s North America technology reporter James Clayton told Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘It looks almost identical to Twitter in pretty much every way.
‘I think the one way that is very different to Twitter is that this is connected to Instagram. I’ve been speaking to Meta sources for the last few months, it’s come out of Instagram, it very much has access to hundreds of millions of Instagram accounts.
‘And so this isn’t just starting from zero like many of Twitter’s other competitors. It has that huge treasure trove of users in Instagram, so that’s why journalists like me and others are quite excited by this, because it does have the potential to become hugely impactful to Twitter. This is by far the biggest threat that Elon Musk has faced so far.’
Meta will benefit from having access to more than two billion monthly active Instagram users. Twitter meanwhile is estimated to have 364million monthly users.
Steve Teixeira, Mozilla chief product officer and a former Twitter and Meta executive, told the Wall Street Journal: ‘I do think a new microblogging leader will emerge to supplant Twitter, but it is far from a foregone conclusion that the winner will be Meta.’
Meghana Dhar, a former Instagram executive, added: ‘I’ve seen Meta do a very good job of picking up business models or product features and copy-pasting.
‘Haters are going to say that they lack innovation, but I actually think this is smart.’
It comes as the rivalry between Mr Zuckerberg and the Tesla billionaire, who bought Twitter in October, continues.
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.
What do the experts say about Threads?
‘It does have the potential to become hugely impactful to Twitter. This is by far the biggest threat that Elon Musk has faced so far.’
James Clayton, BBC’s North America technology reporter stated