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Fashion brands among ten million to join Meta’s new app Threads
06 July 2023

A new app billed as a rival to Twitter has seen more than 10 million people sign up in its first few hours, according to Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg.

Threads, created by Facebook and Instagram owners Meta, went live in the UK at midnight on Thursday.

The launch of the platform was brought forward by 15 hours and made freely available in 100 countries but it is not yet available in the EU due to regulatory concerns.

Linked to Instagram, it allows users to post up to 500 characters of text and up to five minutes of video and links, as well as pictures.

Threads ASOS

ASOS on Threads

Fashion brands including ASOS, Pretty Little Thing, JD Sports and Footasylum have already joined and made their presence on the app known.

The launch comes against a backdrop of turbulence at Twitter, after it imposed tweet viewing limits at the weekend in a move Elon Musk’s social media firm partly blamed on data harvesting by companies building artificial intelligence models.

Many users have publicly expressed frustrations with Twitter since Musk took over, partly linked to political views and erratic behaviour, as well as efforts to push more users towards its paid-for Twitter Blue service.

Posting on the new app under the username zuck and using a “mind blown” emoji, Zuckerberg wrote: “10 million sign up in seven hours.”

He said earlier: “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.”

The platform is directly linked with Instagram, which has more than two billion users. Twitter is estimated to have over 350 million users.

Zuckerberg suggested that Threads would be a more wholesome alternative to Twitter.

“The goal is to keep it friendly as it expands. I think it’s possible and will ultimately be the key to its success,” he said.

Users of the new app will be able to use their Instagram login to get started and, like on the picture-sharing platform, can follow and connect with friends and influencers with similar interests.

Someone’s feed on the app includes threads from people they follow as well as recommended content from creators they have not yet heard of.

Threads posts can also be shared on a user’s Instagram story and as a link on other platforms.

People can control who mentions them and who can reply to them on the new app, replies to threads containing specific words can be filtered out and other users can be unfollowed, blocked, restricted and reported.

Any accounts a user has blocked on Instagram will automatically be blocked on the new app and Instagram’s safety guidelines will be enforced on the new platform, Meta said.

Eventually, the California-based company wants it to be possible for people without a Threads account to interact on the platform, which it hopes will usher in a “new era of diverse and interconnected networks”.

If and when this happens, if a user has a public profile their posts will be accessible from other apps while if they have a private one they will have to approve new followers.

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