Weekly Buzz: Meta Challenges Twitter with Launch of Threads App

Welcome back to another edition of the Weekly Buzz!

We’ve got a lineup of exciting digital marketing news that’s truly had us buzzing this week: 

  • Meta launches Twitter competitor Threads
  • Twitter threatens to sue Meta over new Threads app
  • Twitter users face access issues
  • Canadian government continues to clash with big tech over the Online News Act 

Let’s dive in!

All about Threads: New Meta app poses direct challenge to Twitter

This week, Meta finally launched its much-anticipated microblogging app called Threads, posing a direct challenge to Twitter. The app allows users to keep their followers from Instagram and maintain the same username. 

Here’s more about Threads directly from Meta:

“Whether you’re a creator or a casual poster, Threads offers a new, separate space for real-time updates and public conversations. 

Instagram is where billions of people around the world connect over photos and videos. Our vision with Threads is to take what Instagram does best and expand that to text, creating a positive and creative space to express your ideas. Just like on Instagram, with Threads you can follow and connect with friends and creators who share your interests – including the people you follow on Instagram and beyond. And you can use our existing suite of safety and user controls.”

While alternative microblogging platforms have seen increased user numbers since Elon Musk acquired Twitter, none have posed a significant threat to the social media giant. However, Instagram, with its vast user base, has a track record of introducing successful features, such as “stories” in response to Snapchat’s popularity and “Reels” to rival TikTok. 

Our team has had fun playing around with the new app since it launched. At the time of writing, the platform has amassed over 55 million users.

Have you joined Threads? Learn more about the new platform here.

Twitter threatens to sue Meta over Threads app

But did you really think that Elon Musk would allow this all to happen quietly?

It didn’t take long for Twitter to express its intention to take legal action against Meta. Twitter’s lawyer reportedly sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, alleging that the app is built on the unlawful misappropriation of trade secrets and intellectual property. 

The letter claims that Meta hired former Twitter employees who had access to confidential information and trade secrets, accusing them of developing a copycat app using Twitter’s intellectual property.

Meta’s communications director denied these allegations, stating that no Threads engineering team members were former Twitter employees. The launch of Threads marks a notable development in the competition between the platforms, with Twitter taking swift action. 

Musk supported Twitter’s claims in a tweet, emphasizing that competition is acceptable, but cheating is not. 

Despite the presence of other Twitter competitors like Mastodon and Bluesky, Threads has gained significant attention since its launch. The app is currently available in 100 countries, and users can access Threads by authenticating with their Instagram login credentials.

Limits on Tweets spark uproar as users face access issues

And of course, it wouldn’t be the Weekly Buzz without a little extra Twitter drama.

In response to unauthorized data scraping, Musk implemented temporary restrictions on Twitter over the weekend, leading to over 7,500 user complaints. The hashtag #TwitterDown trended as users experienced difficulties accessing the platform. 

Twitter’s recent changes now require users to log in, ending unrestricted access to tweets and profiles. Unverified accounts are limited to 600 posts per day, while verified accounts can view up to 6,000. These limits could result in users being locked out after reaching their daily quota. 

Musk aims to boost revenue by offering a higher threshold through an $8 per month subscription for verified accounts.

Are you still an active Twitter user? What do you think of the changes? Let us know!

Canadian government suspends Facebook and Instagram advertising as clash over Online News Act continues

Canada’s Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez announced the suspension of all federal government advertising on Facebook and Instagram due to Facebook’s “unreasonable” decision to block news content. 

The Online News Act (Bill C-18), which became law in June, mandates companies like Facebook’s parent company Meta and Google to pay news organizations for web story links accessed through their platforms. The legislation aims to support news outlets that have suffered from declining ad revenues.

While Google has been open to finding a solution, Meta’s move to block news content in Canada was deemed “disappointing and irresponsible” by Canadian lawmakers. 

Reports say Rodriguez remains in talks with Google, expressing confidence in reaching an agreement. Amid the ongoing battle, Quebecor, CBC/Radio-Canada, and other Canadian media organizations have withdrawn their ads from Meta platforms.

Long story short: things continue to evolve with Bill C-18, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted on how it could affect digital marketing efforts.

Friday Fun

When an 18-hour flight delay turns into a private jet party for one!

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site