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Twitter’s Copycat Rival is Coming to You via Meta. Will It Survive?

Meta will again co-opt the ideas of its competitors and hope for the best

Meta is reportedly trying to compete with Twitter by introducing a similar app called Threads. The app will be connected to Instagram and will allow a cross-over of followers, etc. Since Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, some have complained about loosened constraints regarding speech and expression. A number of formerly suspended accounts, such as those belonging to psychologist Jordan Peterson, the Christian satire site The Babylon Bee, and a number of other (mostly conservative) voices, were reestablished following Musk’s “takeover.”

Now Meta is trying to capitalize.

If they’re going to launch Threads, now is probably the best time to do it. Apart from the overarching complaints against Twitter and Musk, the platform is now limiting how many tweets a user sees in one day. In response to the new limitation, Musk appealed to people’s need to “go outside” because “we’re all a bunch of Twitter addicts.”

It’s kind of entertaining how Twitter is subject to the existential whims of the world’s richest person; he has been hailed as a champion for free speech among many conservatives and classical liberals, while left-wing critics have assailed him for failing to regulate and censor what they dub “hate speech.” The internet is a mess. In Musk’s estimation, it’s always a danger to decide who decides what counts as “hate speech.” There are unanimous examples such as blatant racism and death threats, but many of the accounts the previous Twitter administration deplatformed were not even remotely guilty of such atrocity. Musk came in at a time when Twitter users were getting canned simply for deviating from the far-left status quo, especially when it came to gender and sexuality issues.

How will Threads fare in the social media market?

Meta has a history of being a “copycat.” Facebook itself was a knockoff of a similar concept that would be designed for Harvard students. A Bloomberg article on the topic also mentions how Instagram co-opted “stories” from Snapchat, and then again adopted “reels” into its algorithm to better compete with TikTok. However, Instagram stories are now more popular than Snapchat stories and the video reels have purportedly expanded the app’s growth. So, what can we expect from Threads?

It might turn out to be a formidable rival, but time will tell. It might be attractive to people on Instagram who work as writers or journalists and find it easier to develop an audience on Threads. However, if Meta resembles the old Twitter with its draconian censorship measures, who knows how many users it will actually produce?

Peter Biles

Writer and Editor, Center for Science & Culture
Peter Biles graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois and went on to receive a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Seattle Pacific University. He is the author of Hillbilly Hymn and Keep and Other Stories and has also written stories and essays for a variety of publications. He was born and raised in Ada, Oklahoma and is the Writer and Editor for Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture.

Twitter’s Copycat Rival is Coming to You via Meta. Will It Survive?