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Over 10 million sign up for Threads in first 7 hours: Mark Zuckerberg

Ten million users across the globe except the European Union states have signed up for Meta’s newly launched Threads app in its first seven hours.

This was revealed by the company’s chief Mark Zuckerberg as he said he pitched the app as a “friendly” rival to Twitter, which was bought by Elon Musk in October.

Speaking about the launch of Threads, Zuckerberg said keeping the platform “friendly… will ultimately be the key to its success”.

When asked on Threads whether the app will be “bigger than Twitter”, Mr Zuckerberg said: “It’ll take some time, but I think there should be a public conversations app with 1 billion+ people on it.

“Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it. Hopefully we will.”

Zuckerberg disclosed that his company sought to attract users from Elon Musk’s troubled platform through an offer of lengthier posts.

According to the Guardian UK, the Facebook and Instagram owner brought forward the app’s debut by 15 hours to 7:00 pm on Wednesday in the United States and Thursday midnight in the United Kingdom.

The inauguration of the app was freely available in 100 countries on the Apple and Google app stores, but regulatory concerns have revealed that it will not be available in the European Union (EU).

Brands such as Billboard, HBO, NPR and Netflix had accounts set up within minutes of launch. Meta said initial celebrity backers included Shakira and Gordon Ramsay, with a recent report suggesting that Oprah Winfrey and the Dalai Lama had also been approached.

Thread users will need an Instagram account to log in. Once they have signed up, they can choose to follow the same accounts they follow on Instagram, if they too have joined the new app.

The app closely resembles Twitter visually, although some of the wording has been changed, with retweets called “reposts” and tweets called “threads”. 

Meta has not been averse to copying rival products in the past, including the 2020 launch of Instagram’s Reels feature, noted for its similarity to TikTok’s short-form videos.

Posts on Threads can be 500 characters long, compared with 280 for most Twitter users, and videos of up to five minutes in length can be posted while a post can be shared as a link on other platforms. Users can unfollow, block, restrict or report others. Users can also filter out replies with certain words in them.

Reaction to the debut on Wednesday ranged from caution to enthusiasm, many praising its ease of use and some saying that Elon Musk should be worried.

Others pointed out the app’s speedy integration with Instagram showed just how powerful Meta has become. Much of the conversation, ironically, took place on Twitter, where the hashtag “Threads” was trending on Wednesday evening


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