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Millions Instantly Sign Up To Threads, Zuck's New Rival To Musk's Twitter

Zuck Vs Musk: the billionaire blogging battle begins.

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Tom Hale

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Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist

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A poster announcing an Elon Musk versus Mark Zuckerberg battle.

Ding, ding ding!!! 

Image credit: SergeyBitos/shutterstock.com, Frederic Legrand - COMEO/shutterstock.com, cristiano barni/shutterstock.com, edited by IFLScience.

Threads, a new rival to Twitter, has finally arrived amid an avalanche of users signing up to the platform – that includes everyone’s favorite source of popular science news, IFLScience. So what is it, how does it work, and how do you get it?

The new social networking service was officially launched on Wednesday, July 5. It's owned by Meta, the tech giant that owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and was built by the Instagram team. It allows users to post 500 characters of text and up to five minutes of video as well as links and photos. You can access the Threads app through Instagram or your app store. 

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Initial interest is booming. Mark Zuckerberg, the Meta founder and newfound Ju Jitsu enthusiast, said that 10 million users signed up for the Threads app in the first seven hours of its unveiling.

Meta’s release of the text-based microblogging app is inseparable from Twitter’s recent takeover by Elon Musk whose leadership has been riddled with controversy and questionable moves, such as limiting the number of tweets users can see daily. To monopolize upon the exodus of users from Twitter, Meta started to develop a competitor app in late 2022.

“Threads is for public conversations,” Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said in a video announcement. “We’re hoping to bring some of what we’ve built for photos and videos on Instagram to Threads with text.”

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The app is currently available to download in 100 countries. One part of the world that’s not signing up yet is the European Union (EU), which is delaying its release due to data privacy concerns. The EU has some of the most stringent data protection laws in the world, so their chief regulator is waiting to review the app before it gets the go-ahead. 

On Twitter, Musk gave kudos to a tweet highlighting the amount of data the Threads app says “may be collected,” including location and search history. According to the terms on the Apple app store, the app wants access to things like health and fitness, location data, fincancial data, and web browsing history.

Who knows how this jostling for microblogging supremacy will turn out, but it’s evident that Zuckerberg has high hopes for the app. 

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“It'll take some time, but 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,” Zuck posted on Threads

Perhaps that Musk vs Zuck cage fight wasn't just a fever dream after all.

In the meantime, here's our shameless plug to follow IFLScience on Threads.


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  • Elon Musk,

  • social media,

  • twitter,

  • Mark Zuckerberg,

  • musk,

  • internet culture,

  • meta,

  • threads

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