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Threads Launched by Meta as Mark Zuckerberg’s Much-Anticipated Twitter Rival Comes to iOS and Android: Details

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Threads Launched by Meta as Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook behemoth Meta officially launched Threads, its text-based rival to Twitter, on Wednesday —  but its release in Europe has been delayed over regulatory concerns.

Threads is the biggest challenger yet to Elon Musk-owned Twitter, which has seen a series of potential competitors emerge but not yet replace one of the social media’s most iconic companies, despite its epic struggles.

The app went live on Apple and Android app stores at 23:00 GMT (4:30am IST) with accounts already active for celebrities such as Shakira and Jack Black and media outlets including The Hollywood Reporter, Vice and Netflix.

“Let’s do this. Welcome to Threads,” wrote Meta chief executive and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in his first post on the new platform.

The app was introduced as a clear spin-off of Instagram, offering it a built-in audience of more than two billion users and thus sparing it the challenge of starting from scratch.

Zuckerberg is widely understood to be taking advantage of Musk’s chaotic ownership of Twitter to push out the new product, which the company hopes will become the go-to communication channel for celebrities, companies and politicians.

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“It’s as simple as that: if an Instagram user with a large number of followers such as Kardashian or a Bieber or a Messi begins posting on Threads regularly, a new platform could quickly thrive,” strategic financial analyst Brian Wieser said on Substack.

Analyst Jasmine Engberg from Insider Intelligence said Threads would only need one out of four Instagram monthly users “to make it as big as Twitter”.

“Twitter users are desperate for an alternative, and Musk has given Zuckerberg an opening,” she added.

Musk and Zuckerberg are known to be bitter rivals —  and have even offered to meet each other in a fighting cage to wrestle it out.

This came after a Meta executive reportedly told employees that Threads would be like Twitter, but “sanely run.”

Indicating the desire to break from Twitter’s toxic reputation, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, told users that Threads was intended to build “an open and friendly platform for conversations.”

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“The best thing you can do if you want that too is be kind,” he said.

Under Musk, Twitter has seen content moderation reduced to a minimum with glitches and rash decisions tarnishing the site’s reputation and scaring away celebrities and major advertisers.

Musk hired advertising executive Linda Yaccarino to steady the ship, but she has not been spared his whimsy.

The Tesla tycoon said last week that he was limiting access to Twitter in what he called a temporary measure to ward off AI companies from “scraping” the site to train their technology.

Musk then angered Twitter’s most devoted aficionados by declaring that access to its TweetDeck product — which allows users to view a fast flow of tweets at once — would be for paying customers only.

Fediverse coming soon

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Threads owner Meta has its legion of critics too, especially in Europe, and despite Instagram’s massive user base, they could slow the site’s development.

The company formerly known as Facebook is criticized mainly for its handling of personal data — its quintessential bloodline for targeted ads that help it rake in billions of dollars in profits every quarter.

According to a source close to the matter, regulatory concerns will delay the launch of Threads in the European Union, where Meta will be subject to a new law called the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which sets strict rules for the world’s biggest internet companies.

One rule restricts platforms from transferring personal data between products, as would potentially be the case between Threads and Instagram.

Meta was caught out for doing just that after it bought the messaging app WhatsApp, and European regulators will be on high alert to ensure that the company doesn’t do so with Threads.

Another original idea for Threads, making it interoperable with other Twitter rivals such as Mastodon, is also on hold for now, but not abandoned.

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“Soon, you’ll be able to follow and interact with people on other fediverse platforms,” the app told users.

The so-called fediverse would see different platforms of all kinds and sizes enabled to communicate with one another.


From the Nothing Phone 2 to the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, several new smartphones are expected to make their debut in July. We discuss all of the most exciting smartphones coming this month and more on the latest episode of Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

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This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

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“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

Instagram’s testing out some new options to help spice up your live-streams in the app, with some live broadcasters now able to select a game that they can play with viewers in-stream.

As you can see in these example screens, posted by Ahmed Ghanem, some creators now have the option to play either “This or That”, a question and answer prompt that you can share with your viewers, or “Trivia”, to generate more engagement within your IG live-streams.

That could be a simple way to spark more conversation and interaction, which could then lead into further engagement opportunities from your live audience.

Meta’s been exploring more ways to make live-streaming a bigger consideration for IG creators, with a view to live-streams potentially catching on with more users.

That includes the gradual expansion of its “Stars” live-stream donation program, giving more creators in more regions a means to accept donations from live-stream viewers, while back in December, Instagram also added some new options to make it easier to go live using third-party tools via desktop PCs.

Live streaming has been a major shift in China, where shopping live-streams, in particular, have led to massive opportunities for streaming platforms. They haven’t caught on in the same way in Western regions, but as TikTok and YouTube look to push live-stream adoption, there is still a chance that they will become a much bigger element in future.

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Which is why IG is also trying to stay in touch, and add more ways for its creators to engage via streams. Live-stream games is another element within this, which could make this a better community-building, and potentially sales-driving option.

We’ve asked Instagram for more information on this test, and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

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