The Musk V/S Zuckerberg Fight Took A New Turn When Meta Launched ‘Threads’ To Compete With Twitter

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As the weekend was nearing, I was getting warmed up, chasing the news of a potential MMA fight between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg that was confirmed by UFC President Dana White in an interview.

In fact, there were even rumours that the fight might happen at the Roman Colosseum when Musk tweeted about it.

Tweet by Elon Musk

Even Zuckerberg, who is said to have trained in MMA for the past 18 months and recently won a jiu-jitsu tournament, loved the idea of the fight going down at the Colosseum, as reported by TMZ.

The Italian officials, however, rubbished the news that the Italian Ministry of Culture had made any such offers. Although, they said that they are up for a “non-violent challenge”.

I literally don’t know what that even means!

Musk has been training with Georges St-Pierre, the former UFC champion, and John Danaher, often regarded as some of the best instructors and coaches in these sports.

Tweet by Lex Fridman

Threads — the new Social Media platform

Well, Zuckerberg, on the other hand, launched Threads, a text-based microblogging app to rival Twitter, on July 5, 2023. To everyone’s surprise, the app has amassed 80 million users in its first 48 hours, even breaking the impossible record of ChatGPT.

Some of Twitter’s most-followed users — such as Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Gates, Shakira, and Oprah Winfrey — immediately joined Threads and began posting, or “threading”.

A more welcoming Text-based Platform

The ambiance was festive, with users composing welcome messages and expressing eagerness to peruse each other’s posts. In fact, Zuckerberg himself is welcoming the celebrities, replying to celebrities who are posting in the Threads app.

Even when I joined the app, I felt they nailed the UI and UX for the app. It is incredibly smooth and without any bugs.

The app looks quite similar to Twitter, and surely it is trying to take the existing Twitter users into familiar territory while keeping it fresh for the existing followers who are not on Twitter.

There’s a caveat, though: Threads requires you to have an Instagram account, as it uses the Instagram login.

Threads will be part of Fediverse

So, in order to use the Threads app, you need to have an Instagram account, and they want to make this app part of the “fediverse”.

Fediverse is, in layman’s terms, a social network of different servers operated by third parties that are connected and can communicate with each other. This means that posts made on Threads will be accessible from other apps too.

At present, users can sign up for Threads using an existing Instagram account, transferring pictures, followers, and other similar information from their profiles.

Should Musk and Twitter be worried?

I believe Zuckerberg has nailed the timing of the launch of the Threads app. Twitter, under Musk’s rule, has hit some bumps, including big payoffs, declining ad revenue, and a major drop in value.

As a matter of fact, the latest restriction that Musk decided to make on Twitter was to restrict its users reading of tweets each day.

Tweet by Elon Musk

There are other reasons as well, and one of the biggest is that text platforms like Twitter and Reddit hold vast amounts of text data that can be used to train AI models. Meta, as a company, is looking to build up its own vault of text-based data to train its models with this new app.

Seeing Threads’ massive success, Twitter is officially suing Meta over “systematic, willful, and unlawful misappropriation” of Twitter’s trade secrets and IP, as well as scraping of Twitter’s data.

Tweet by Elon Musk

Final Thoughts

I am confident that the users count of Threads will surpass the total users of Twitter, since Instagram has over 2.3 billion users and if even 20% of them join Meta’s Threads, it will surpass Twitter.

Now, whether we should trust Meta with our data, we already know the answer. Meta platforms have a bad reputation for using and misusing customers data, even worse than Google, Microsoft, and Apple.

I am still confident that the public square for the common people will still be Twitter, at least for a while, since that’s the go-to platform that people will go to get the news in real-time.

Let’s see what happens!