It’s Musk vs. Zuckerberg as two of the richest businessmen in the world square off in the social networking/microblogging universe. Musk, the owner of the dominant player in the text-based communication field, Twitter, is now being challenged by a newcomer, Threads, whose owner has dominance in the social media field (Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp). Clearly, the blue bird of happiness and its owner are not so happy right now. The new app has arrived a day earlier than its expected arrival date of July 6, 2023.
Fed up with Twitter? You are not alone. There are alternatives, you know.
Twitter may be the dominate app when it comes to microblogging, but there are companies offering alternatives to having “a little birdie told me”…. These include T2 Social, Post.news, Spill, BlueSky, Mastodon, Plurk, Amino, Micro.blog, Tumblr, Hive Social, and others. Maybe you have heard of some of these, maybe not, as those alternatives haven’t rocked the Twitter world. The point is, you want your messages to be seen, and just like some of the alternatives to Facebook, they just don’t generate the buzz or the audience of that app with the cute blue bird as its mascot.
It’s hard to unseat a dominant ruler, whether the entity is lording over its users in a benevolent fashion or treating them with near disdain. But there is a competitor on the horizon that may have the ability to overthrow the king and rule the world of digital conversation. But, be careful what you wish for.
Meta has launched a new app it calls Threads, to take on Twitter and its nearly 400 million users, as well as rivals that have popped up over the years. The new app, launched a day earlier than its expected arrival date of July 6, amassed 10 million sign-ups in its first seven hours, according to a Thread by CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In a blow to Twitter, Threads was even trending on Elon Musk’s Twitter.
Threads has already been christened by many as “the Twitter killer.”
Threads is tightly connected to Instagram and is built on the same platform—a smart move considering the growing popularity of that platform, which has billions of users. Instagram users can sign in with their Instagram account, which carries over their username and verification so they can link to fellow followers on the new text-based messaging app. With a similar interface as Twitter, Threads lets users post Threads, converse with others, and respond to other Threads. There is a 500-character limit and a five-minute video limit.
Meta already lords over other social media kingdoms: Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Although there has not been publicized unrest in the Instagram world, the same cannot be said for Facebook, where Emperor Zuckerberg has been heavily criticized. And yet, like Twitter, where King Musk reigns, there has been unrest both within the company and outside its doors. Since Musk purchased Twitter, he did not make any friends when he assumed the keys to this castle, announcing layoffs and painting a dreary picture for those who were spared the ax. Then he began taxing the population with verification fees. And he suspended content-moderation rules in the spirit of “say anything, true or not.” Days ago, he decided to add limits on how many tweets users could read in a day’s time, saying the decision—which caught users unaware—was Twitter’s attempt at combating data scraping and system manipulation.
Musk did install a new CEO several weeks ago, but let’s be real, it is he who still weareth the crown.
Now does seem like the ideal time for Meta to issue its challenge, although this app has been in the works for some time. Perhaps, though, Meta was just waiting for the voices of revolution to begin speaking much louder.
In a strange-but-true move, Musk issued a challenge to Zuckerberg. It was not a tech challenge whereby the best platform wins, but rather a cage match. And, like a CEO with MMA training, Zuck accepted, followed by trash talk and banter, some of it humorous (“I have this great move that I call ‘The Walrus,’ where I just lie on top of my opponent & do nothing,” Musk had stated in one tweet, showing some levity—or perhaps not, if one reads between the lines).
Just how serious the two tech giants are about such a thing, it’s difficult to say. The truth of the matter is that two successful grown men resorting to playground behavior is unbecoming, and yet, many out there would love to see such a show (hello, pay-per-view). Perhaps an even better idea would be for them to focus on winning back the love of their users.