Threads, Meta’s rival app, takes aim at Twitter

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Meta is taking on Twitter with a new app. Instagram today announced the anticipated launch of its text-based social networking app, Threads, which allows Instagram users to authenticate with their existing credentials to post short updates, including text up to 500 characters; links; photos; and videos up to 5 minutes in length.

At launch, Threads is available on iOS and Android in 100 countries, though not in the EU, reportedly due to concerns about adhering to local data privacy regulations. Users can log in with their Instagram credentials, where their username and verification status will carry over.

However, you can customize Threads’ profiles independently as well.

If you’re looking for alternatives to Twitter that offer similar thread-like features, a few options are available. 

Here are some popular platforms you can consider:

  1. Mastodon: Mastodon is a decentralized, open-source microblogging platform that operates on federated social networks. It allows users to create their instances, which can interact with each other. Mastodon supports threaded conversations and offers a similar experience to Twitter.
  2.  Gab: Gab is a social networking platform aims to provide a free speech-oriented alternative to Twitter. It allows users to create posts and engage in threaded conversations. Gab gained popularity among specific communities but has also faced controversies due to its association with extremist content.
  3.  Parler: Parler is a social networking service that gained attention as an alternative to Twitter, particularly among conservative users. It offers threaded conversations and a more lenient content moderation policy. However, Parler faced significant setbacks when removing it from major app stores due to concerns about its moderation practices and the spread of misinformation.
  4.  Minds: Minds is an open-source, decentralized social media platform emphasizing privacy and freedom of speech. It offers threaded conversations and allows users to earn rewards for their contributions to the forum. Minds also incorporate features like encrypted messaging and anonymous posting.
  5.  Discord: Although Discord is primarily known as a communication platform for gamers, it can also serve as an alternative to Twitter for threaded discussions. Discord allows users to create servers and channels to engage in conversations, share media, and collaborate on various topics.
  6.  Reddit: While not explicitly designed for threaded conversations, Reddit is a popular platform where users can create and participate in discussions within individual posts or threads. It features various communities (subreddits) dedicated to different topics, and users can upvote or downvote comments within a line to determine their visibility.
  7.  Twtxt: Twtxt is a decentralized, minimalist microblogging platform focusing on simplicity and privacy. It supports threaded conversations and allows users to follow others’ feeds. Twtxt is designed to be lightweight and can be run on personal servers or shared with others.

There are buttons to like, repost, reply to or quote a “thread,” and counters showing the number of likes and replies a post has received.

“Our vision is that Threads will be a new app more focused on text and dialogue, modelled after what Instagram has done for photo and video,” the company said.

Posts are limited to 500 characters, more than Twitter’s 280-character threshold, and can include links, photos and videos up to five minutes long.

Here are some Twitter alternative apps that allow you to create and read threads:

  • Threads is an Instagram app launched in July 2023 as a competitor to Twitter. It allows users to post text and links and reply to or repost messages from others. Threads are integrated with Instagram, so users can port over their existing follower lists and account names.
  •  Mastodon is a decentralized social media platform similar to Twitter in many ways. Users can share text, photos, and videos, as well as follow other users on this platform. Mastodon is also open source, meaning anyone can create their platform instance.
  •  BlueSky is a project developed by a team of independent developers. It aims to create a more open and democratic social media platform than Twitter. BlueSky is still in development, but it could be a competitor to Twitter.
  • Twitch is a social media platform that utilizes blockchain technology to allow users to share various there are various forms of content such as written text, pictures, and videos.Twitch is designed to be a more censorship-resistant platform than Twitter.
  •  StatusNet is an open-source microblogging platform that is similar to Twitter. This platform enables its users to share written content, pictures, and videos, as well as to track the activity of other users. StatusNet is also decentralized, which means that there are multiple instances of the platform that different organizations run.

These are just a few of the many available Twitter alternative apps. Which one you choose will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

Here are some additional features of Threads that you may find helpful:

  • Threads are private by default. Only the people you choose to follow can see your Threads.
  •  Threads are ephemeral. Lines disappear after 24 hours.
  •  Threads are focused. Threads are limited to 200 characters per message, encouraging you to be concise.
  •  Threads are conversational. Cables are designed to be easy to read and reply to.

If you’re looking for a Twitter alternative offering a more private, temporary, and focused experience, Thread is a good option.

Unfortunately, this data collection isn’t different from other major social platforms like TikTok and Twitter or Meta’s own Instagram and Facebook. But with so many apps competing to become the “next Twitter” (if such a thing is even possible), users have more agency to choose a platform with less dubious privacy practices. Still, Threads has a leg up since users’ Instagram networks will be built in.

With ongoing privacy concerns among Meta’s family of apps, Threads will not be launching in the EU — at least not for now. The Guardian’s sources at Meta reportedly delayed the launch due to legal uncertainty around data use under the Digital Markets Act, passed in March. Meta has reason to be wary of this changing EU legislation; in May, the company was fined around $1.3 billion for exporting European Union user data to the U.S. for processing.

He’s made a series of changes that have triggered a backlash, the latest being daily limits on the number of tweets people can view to stop unauthorized scraping of potentially valuable data. He also now requires paid verification for users to access the TweetDeck online dashboard.

Musk’s rivalry with Zuckerberg could end up spilling over into real life. In an online exchange, the two tech billionaires seemingly agreed to a cage match face-off, though it’s unclear if they will make it to the ring.

About the author

Marta Lopez

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