Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, is to introduce Threads, a Twitter-rivalling microblogging software, only days after Twitter CEO Elon Musk drew flak for placing a temporary limit on how many posts users may read on the social networking platform.
Threads are set to be published on Thursday and will allow users to keep their Instagram followers while keeping the same username, according to a listing on Apple’s App Store.
The launch is a direct assault on Twitter, which has been embroiled in multiple problems since Musk purchased the company for $44 billion in 2022.
Last week, the Tesla billionaire unveiled a slew of new limits on the app, including a cap on the number of tweets users could view every day, sparking outrage from many users.
While rival microblogging services such as Mastodon and Blue Sky have grown in popularity since Musk’s acquisition, neither has been able to compete with Twitter.
However, Instagram already has hundreds of millions of registered users and a track record of launching new features based on the success of other social media companies.
In response to the growing popularity of Snapchat, Instagram implemented a feature called “stories” in 2016, or user uploads that disappear after a certain length of time.
More recently, the company’s short-form video feature “Reels” has attempted to counter TikTok’s popularity.
Threads’ introduction marks a genuine threat to Twitter under Musk, whose attempts to generate income and restructure the network in his own image have met with failure and face severe failure.
He lay off almost 80% of the company’s employees after acquiring it late last year and reinstated a number of banned accounts, including that of former US President Donald Trump and the conservative satirical news site Babylon Bee.
Concerned about a perceived increase in dangerous content on the network, hundreds of advertisers suspended spending with Twitter, and internal papers obtained by Reuters revealed that the platform’s most active users were getting alienated.