Instagram launches new app as rival to Elon Musk’s Twitter

Threads, which is linked to Instagram, is described as a 'text-based conversation app… where communities come together'.

More than ten million people have signed up for Instagram’s new app to rival Twitter in the first seven hours of its launch.

Threads, which is linked to Instagram, went live on Thursday and is available in the Apple App Store.

It is described as a “text-based conversation app… where communities come together”.

The new app is the latest chapter in the rivalry between Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, who bought Twitter in October.

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Last month the pair – two of the world’s most high-profile billionaires – agreed to take each other on in a cage fight in an exchange that went viral on social media.

The arrival of the new app comes after Twitter announced TweetDeck is to 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 be only be accessible to verified users in 30 days, according to a tweet from Twitter Support on Monday evening.

A new version of TweetDeck has been made available with the tweet giving instructions to users on how to update.

The announcement follows Musk announcing two days earlier that 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 & system manipulation”, was later increased to 1,000.

The restrictions could result in users being locked out of Twitter for the day after scrolling through several hundred tweets.

Verified users – who have paid for a subscription to Twitter Blue or are considered “notable” – can read up to 10,000 posts daily after initially being limited to 6,000.

Matt Navarra, a social media consultant and industry analyst, said Twitter users were crying out for a more satisfying platform after being left unhappy with changes following Musk’s takeover.

He said: “I think that Threads is the first real, credible threat to Elon Musk’s Twitter.

“Users of Twitter are desperately looking for an exit from the platform to escape, and the existing options of rivals are fairly limited.

“They all have the same big problem, which is you have to start from zero – it’s a network that is completely new. One of the biggest benefits for Meta is that it’s building off the back of Instagram, where people are familiar and can also kickstart their following because it ties into the same social graph.”

Navarra said the similar style of interface set to be used by Threads, shared in the announcement via screenshots, was a “strategic and intentional decision” by Meta, as it aimed to create a platform with “as little friction as possible”.

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