Threads: 10 million join Meta’s new Twitter rival app in hours as it goes live in UK
Threads is a new app created by Facebook and Instagram owners Meta, and has been dubbed as a rival to Twitter
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A new app billed as a rival to Twitter has seen more than 10 million people sign up within hours of its launch.
Threads, created by Facebook and Instagram owners Meta, went live in the UK at midnight on Thursday (6 July). The app is linked to Instagram but allows users to post up to 500 characters of text and up to five minutes of video, as well as pictures.
Celebrities including chef Gordon Ramsey and pop star Shakira are among those who have already joined and made their presence known on the app, with Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg confirming it had seen “10 million sign up in seven hours”. On the launch day of the highly-anticipated app, other celebrities such as Kim Kardshian and major figures such as the Dalai Lama also signed up.
He said earlier: “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 a bizarre exchange that went viral on social media. Mr Musk tweeted about Meta, saying: “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram.”
Threads launches just days after Musk announced that TweetDeck will become the next part of the company to be limited to users who have paid for verified status. The application, which allows users to manage multiple feeds and searches, will only be accessible to verified users in 30 days, according to a tweet from Twitter Support on Monday evening (3 July). A new version of TweetDeck has since been made available with the tweet giving instructions to update.
It followed the announcement from Musk two days earlier that non-verified Twitter 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 (1 July). The restrictions could result in users being locked out of Twitter for the day after scrolling through several hundred tweets.
Is Threads connected to your Instagram?
Users of the new Threads 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. All users under the age of 18 in the UK will be defaulted onto a private profile when they join.
A user’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 also 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, with replies to threads containing specific words able to be filtered out. Users can also 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. In addition to this, some users who have already activated the new app through their Instagram account but since changed their minds on the platform have found that you cannot delete the Threads account separately from your Instagram account - to delete the account entirely instead of deactivating, you would need to delete your entire Instagram account.
The tech company said it 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.