A new app that is positioned as a Twitter competitor has been released.
The Facebook and Instagram owners Meta launched Threads at midnight on Thursday in the UK.
Although it is connected to Instagram, users can submit up to 500 characters of text, five minutes of video, links, and images.
Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on the app that the app had received two million sign-ups in just two hours.
The rivalry between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter in October, has a new chapter with the release of the new app.
In a reply to MMA fighter Mark Davis, Mr Zuckerberg said: “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.”
Elon Musk tweeted about Meta, saying: “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram.”
The two, two of the most well-known billionaires in the world, agreed to engage in a cage battle last month in a conversation that went viral on social media.
To get started, users of the new app can sign in with their Instagram account. Just like on the picture-sharing website, users can follow and interact with friends and influencers who share their interests.
In the UK, all users under the age of 18 will first be assigned a private profile.
On the app, a user’s feed may contain threads from users they follow as well as suggested content from writers they are not yet familiar with.
Posts from threads can be shared as a link and on an individual’s Instagram story.
On the new app, users can regulate who mentions them and who may reply to them. They can also filter out replies to threads that contain certain terms and unfollow, block, restrict, and report other people.
The new app will automatically block any accounts a user has blocked on Instagram.
On the new platform, Instagram’s safety policies will be followed, according to Meta.
The California-based startup expects that eventually making it possible for users to engage on the platform without having a Threads account will usher in a “new era of diverse and interconnected networks”.
In the event that this occurs, users who have public profiles will have their postings accessible from other applications, whilst those who have private profiles will have to accept new followers.
Matt Navarra, a social media strategist and market analyst, told the PA news agency earlier this week that the app is the “first credible threat” to Twitter.
He said: “I think that Threads is the first real, credible threat to Elon Musk’s Twitter.
“Users of Twitter are desperately looking for an exit from the platform to escape, and the existing options of rivals are fairly limited.
“They all have the same big problem, which is you have to start from zero – it’s a network that is completely new.
“One of the biggest benefits for Meta is that it’s building off the back of Instagram, where people are familiar and can also kick-start their following because it ties into the same social graph.”
He added that although people are open to change, it would be considered against the differing views of the general public on Meta.
He added: “Meta and Instagram comes with baggage, a bad name and bad press. People are very wary and sceptical of anything [Meta owner] Mark Zuckerberg does.”
The launch of the new app follows Twitter’s announcement that TweetDeck would be the next corporate offering that would only be available to customers who had paid for verified status.
Two days prior, Mr. Musk had stated that users would only be able to read 600 postings each day.