This app could cause real problems for Twitter

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This app could cause real problems for Twitter

Mark Zuckerberg's new app, Threads, bears a striking resemblance to Twitter. From the character limit to the feed and reposting features, it feels incredibly familiar. Zuckerberg claims millions of people have signed up within hours, although skepticism is warranted when tech CEOs boast about user numbers. Nevertheless, the app's connection to Instagram gives it a significant advantage. Existing Instagram users are prompted to "follow all" their Instagram followers when signing up, providing a ready-made follower list and attracting more users as friends join. This advantage showcases the power of Big Tech companies over smaller ones, as they can leverage their existing user base.

While some may question the fairness of this strategy, Zuckerberg is unconcerned and has a track record of successfully copying other apps (e.g., Reels as a TikTok clone). Moreover, leveraging the influence of celebrities like Shakira and Gordon Ramsay, who are already on Instagram, has further fueled the buzz around Threads. The network effect is crucial for social media platforms, as more users enhance the app's overall experience and create a tipping point where joining becomes almost obligatory.

However, Threads has its share of problems. Unlike Twitter, it lacks separate feeds for recommendations and content from followed accounts, potentially leading to annoyance. Additionally, desktop functionality is currently limited, and the absence of trending information makes it challenging to identify viral content. The app lacks a messaging feature, which Twitter offers, and users can still buy verification badges for a monthly fee, akin to Twitter's blue ticks. Threads is still smaller than Twitter, but it's early days for the app.

Described by Zuckerberg as an "initial version," Threads delivers the basics competently but lacks any standout features. Nevertheless, the positive response to the app will likely please Meta's CEO after years of negative press. Zuckerberg is positioning himself as the sensible tech billionaire behind a friendly social media platform, which has drawn sarcastic remarks from Elon Musk. Despite concerns that disenchanted Twitter users might reject Meta's offer, it appears that hasn't been the case so far. This could pose a challenge for Musk if Threads continues to function effectively, even if not exceptionally.

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