The rivalry between tech titans Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Elon Musk is escalating with Zuckerberg’s launch of the new Threads app, aptly named to stitch together the fabric of online communication. The new app will be available to the public beginning July 6, 2023, and Meta launched a countdown website for the release.
While I’ve just spent some time on an early look at Threads, it is shockingly similar to the look and feel of its competitor Twitter. Let’s dive into what Threads is and how big of a threat it could be for the future of Twitter.
What is ‘Threads’?
Threads is an app developed by Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. It is described as a “text-based conversation app” that is linked to Instagram and allows you to follow and connect directly with your favorite creators and others who love the same things. It is designed to offer a similar microblogging experience as Twitter, where users can post short messages to a wider audience and respond when others post. It also has a feature that lets you keep your Instagram followers on the new service, which could help you build a large follower base quickly.
Will Threads kill Twitter?
Threads is seen as a direct challenge to Twitter, which has been facing some difficulties lately, such as an outage over the weekend and a decision to throttle usage for some nonpaying members. Some users are calling Threads a “Twitter killer” because they expect many people to migrate away from Twitter in favor of the new social media service.
Threads vs. Twitter
Some of the features that will come with the new Threads app include disappearing messages, read receipts and integration with Instagram Stories. From the looks of the app’s download page, which can be found on the App Store or the Google Play Store, it appears that the app will be free to download and that there won’t be any limits to how many posts a viewer can see, unlike Twitter, where Musk has just introduced a 600-tweet limit to those who are not subscribed to Twitter Blue.
What made Meta introduce this new app?
It’s no secret that there has been a longstanding rivalry between Meta and Twitter, and each company is constantly trying to outperform the other – competing for users, features, and influence for years. Some of the back-and-forth rivalry has gotten out of hand, like when Zuckerberg and Musk agreed to physically fight each other back in May. However, the fight has not happened yet, and some people doubt that it will ever happen.
Are there any downsides to Threads?
It’s hard to tell just how many downsides Threads will have since it is brand new. However, some have expressed concerns over just how private and secure the app will be for the people using it and how much data will be shared. Private data sharing has been a popular topic of concern for many social media platforms, especially Meta, which is a company that has had a history of privacy issues and scandals.
How Threads may collect and use your sensitive data
According to the app’s privacy disclosures on iOS, Threads may collect highly sensitive information about users in order to profile their digital activity, such as health and financial data, precise location, browsing history, contacts, search history and other sensitive information.
How to protect your privacy when using Threads
It is important that you know exactly what information you’re sharing with Meta, as they can use that information to track your activities and target you with ads. The good thing is that you can choose which categories you want to share with Threads when you first sign up for the app, and if you don’t want to share any categories, you can create a Threads account without sharing any data.
How Threads may still collect your data
However, some data may still be collected by default or by other Meta products that you use. For example, Threads may collect your device identifiers, usage data, diagnostics and other data, even if you don’t share any categories. Also, if you use Instagram, Facebook, Messenger or WhatsApp, those apps may share data with Threads or vice versa.
How to control your data sharing with the app
Take a look at the prompts and permissions you receive when setting the app up for the first time, and make sure you go into your smartphone’s settings and toggle off any data you don’t want to be shared. However, keep in mind that toggling off some data may affect the functionality or performance of the app.
Kurt’s key takeaways
As Threads emerges as a potential rival to Twitter, the social media landscape is bound to get more heated and competitive. How will Musk and his Twitter crew respond to this challenge? What new features or innovations will they unleash to keep their users hooked? I can’t wait to find out. But for now, I’m curious to explore Threads and see if it delivers on its promise of a more engaging and authentic social experience.
How do you feel about Zuckerberg and Musk as CEOs? Do you think their drama is distracting from what they’re trying to achieve on their designated platforms? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.
For more of my security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter.
Copyright 2023 CyberGuy.com. All rights reserved.