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Instagram escalates war with Twitter with planned launch of ‘Threads’

Meta Platforms is set to launch Threads, a new microblogging app, this week. The new app, which is reported to be Mark Zuckerberg’s response to Twitter, will be linked to Instagram, taking advantage of the decline in user numbers and the backlash that occurred after billionaire Elon Musk took control of the social media platform.

Among the issues that have angered users and made them seek alternative platforms are Twitter’s loosening content moderation policies, its requirement of a monthly subscription fee to be labeled as an authentic account and its site reliability issues. On Saturday, Twitter even began temporarily limiting the number of posts users can see.

Meta’s iteration of the commentary platform, dubbed ‘Threads, an Instagram app’ is currently available to pre-download on the App store, with its official launch scheduled for Thursday, as per App Store data.

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Instagram has been building anticipation for its upcoming app with the help of celebrities and influencers for months ahead of the launch.

Meta describes the platform as a place for communities to connect and discuss the most relevant topics of today and tomorrow.

“Whatever it is you’re interested in, you can follow and connect directly with your favourite creators and others who love the same things — or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions and creativity with the world,” Meta said

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Screenshots indicate that users will be able to use their Instagram handle to log in to Threads and follow their contacts already present. The app has a similar user interface to Twitter, with features like reposting, liking and allowing users to control who can reply to posts.

Threads app will collect user data such as browsing history, financial information, location, user-generated content and more.

Instagram previously attempted to launch Threads in 2019 as a companion messaging service, but it was shut down in December 2021.

Meta will join a burgeoning field of platforms, such as BlueSky and Mastodon, which are vying to supplant Twitter since Elon Musk’s takeover late last year which made the platform increasingly challenging for its approximated 250 million users to access.

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