Mark Zuckerberg, otherwise known as the Musk of Meta, evidently wants some of the ex-Twitter users that Elon has been shedding from Twitter to join the fun on Instagram.
Last weekend was tough for users of Twitter. Not surprisingly, this has led to another mini-exodus from the platform, with Mastodon reporting that more than 300,000 new users signed up over the weekend. The steady stream of users away from Twitter has evidently caught Meta’s attention, because they’re releasing Threads, a new mobile app that makes Instagram more Twitter-like.
More on the new app from Meta in a moment, but first let’s look at Twitter’s weekend of infamy.
As you might already have heard (or witnessed first-hand), on Friday visitors to Twitter’s site were denied access unless they were logged in. Musk said the move was because, “Several hundred organizations (maybe more) were scraping Twitter data extremely aggressively, to the point where it was affecting the real user experience.”
I take it that means that Twitter barely has enough compute on hand to meet the demands of its users.
On Saturday things got worse. Logged-in Twitter users began to receive a “rate limit exceeded” message when viewing tweets. Why? It seems that unverified accounts, which means accounts that aren’t paying $8 a month for Twitter Blue, will now be limited to viewing 600 posts per day, and that “new” unverified accounts would only be able to see 300 in a day. According to Musk, these limits were also due to bots scraping the platform.
Then on Sunday, TweetDeck, quit working.
If you don’t know, TweetDeck is Twitter’s long-in-the-tooth application that, among other things, allows “professional” Twitter users to manage multiple Twitter accounts from a single user interface. The apps failure led to lots of online speculation about the cause (I opined that it was probably because Twitter had spread its infrastructure too thin).
It turned out the problem with TweetDeck was probably just a ploy to get users to move to a new version of the app, which was released with no prior announcement on Monday (although, it was announced before Musk took ownership of the platform that a new version was in the works). While the new TweetDeck is much the same as the old version of the product, just with more eye candy, it does seem to lack some of the features that longtime TweetDeck users depend upon. Oh, well.
Which brings us back to Meta’s plans to lure some of the people abandoning the Twitter ship to row its way.
In both listings, which are pretty much identical, Meta’s calling the app, “Instagram’s text-based conversation app.”
“Whatever it is you’re interested in, you can follow and connect directly with your favorite creators and others who love the same things — or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions and creativity with the world,” Meta proclaims.
Meta also already has a website up for the app, which currently displays a countdown clock to launch, which as I’m writing this is one day, 18 hours, 22 minutes, and 37 seconds away. I would say that I can’t wait, but I’ve yet to even take a look at Instagram once in my life so something tells me that I’ll easily be able to stand the anticipation.
Anyway, I’ve included some screen shots from the Google Play store for those of you who Instagram, just so you’ll know that to expect.