It was a surprise on Saturday: Some Twitter users were notified that they had “exceeded the reading limit.” As with previous modifications to the app, nothing was previously reported. Owner Elon Musk himself said he has introduced a cap of 600 tweets per day for non-subscribers. Later that day, that number will be pushed to 800 and then 1,000 tweets, according to Musk to prevent companies like Open AI from using data from Twitter to improve their chatbots. “This excess traffic from hundreds of companies is at the expense of the user experience,” Musk said. Specialists in the American media point out that this advertisement was mainly intended to cover up technical problems.
It caused a wave of protests, as many users once again threatened to leave the social medium. The competition did not stand still. On Tuesday, it became known that Meta, the company behind Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, among others, will launch its own app on Thursday: Themes. Initially, the intention was to launch it only at the end of this month, but due to problems with Twitter, it has been accelerated a bit. Threads is already the third major competitor to Twitter after Mastodon and Bluesky. The other two aren’t really penetrating at the moment.
“I think threads have a better chance of success,” says computer scientist Jeroen Burt. Especially because it is related to Instagram, which already has many users. And very importantly, this is also important to many celebrities. For example, someone like Kim Kardashian seduced a lot of people on Instagram at that time. If she were to use threads, she might have the same effect.”
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Instagram now has more than two billion active users. If a small portion turns into leads, it could compete with Twitter very quickly — currently with just 363.7 million monthly users, according to market research firm Insider Intelligence. “But I don’t expect a quick death on Twitter,” Burt said. “With social media, it’s hard to talk about competitors: people can use multiple apps. What can happen is that threads will take a lot of user minutes from Twitter. And so Twitter can slowly bleed to death. It’s never been one of the biggest companies out there.” In terms of the number of users. From about tenth place it can now drop to say fifty or sixty ranks.”
Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter – for which he paid €43 billion – is looking increasingly like a mess. He reduced the workforce from 7,000 to 1,000 full-time employees in just a few months, which he associated with many technical failures thereafter. He also decided to allow a whole series of controversial figures, including former President Donald Trump, as well as parades of far-right activists, back on Twitter, which deterred many advertisers. Advertising revenue decreased by 59 percent in April compared to the previous year. Burt: “A company like Coca-Cola doesn’t want to risk having one of their ads next to blatant racist statements.”
However, Musk is convinced that Twitter will soon see positive cash flows for the first time. This can be done by reducing costs. The only question is whether this is not at the expense of the product.
Anyway, Mark Zuckerberg is now facing one of his biggest competitors. Not only figuratively, but also literally he wants to fight Elon Musk. There is currently a lot of speculation about a possible MMA boxing match. according to New York times Both gentlemen have already indicated to UFC President Dana White that they like it and modalities have already been discussed. Bert: It would be best for them to detach their ego a bit more. It would be much better for their business.”
We won’t know exactly what the new Meta app will look like, until Thursday, when it launches in the App Store. But in recent days, a lot of screenshots have appeared, which have already lifted a corner of the veil. Those with an Instagram account will also be able to log into Threads and connect with existing followers on the new app. In any case, this is much less stressful than other applications, such as Mastodon and Bluesky, where you have to start from scratch.
Also remarkable is that the app is very similar to Twitter. It’s a tried-and-true meta style for copying and running successful competitor apps. For example, Instagram introduced Stories in 2016, which was a clone of Snapchat. Reels, the format for short videos, was copied from TikTok two years ago.
But the big problem with Themes is that it is a text-driven medium, while Instagram is focused on sharing photos. The question is whether this is not a very big step for users. Currently, about 50 million people use both Instagram and Twitter.
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