Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri has claimed that Meta’s newly released text-based app Threads is not meant to replace Twitter and instead caters to communities which did not feel at home on Twitter.
In a Threads interaction with The Verge’s editor Alex Heath on Sunday, Mosseri said that the new platform’s goal was to make a “public square” for Instagram communities that did not “embrace” Twitter, or serve communities which wanted a less angry space for interactions.
“Politics and hard news are inevitably going to show up on Threads - they have on Instagram as well to some extent - but we’re not going to do anything to encourage those verticals,” he said in his Threads reply.
Responding to users’ fears that news content would be made harder to access on Threads, Mosseri clarified that while news and politics would not be censored, Meta would not “court” such content the way it had in the past.
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More countries are considering making Meta pay news publishers for showing their content on its platforms and services. Canada’s Online News Act, which became a law last month, made Meta and Google decide to pull Canadian publishers’ news content from their platforms.
“If we are honest, we were too quick to promise too much to the industry on Facebook in the early 2010s, and it would be a mistake to repeat that...” said Mosseri on Threads.
Threads saw around 70 million sign-ups in just two days of launching. The same week, Twitter lawyer Alex Spiro sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, where he threatened to sue and alleged that Meta used former Twitter employees to build the “copycat” Threads.
Meta denied that anyone on the Threads engineering team was a former Twitter employee.
Twitter owner Elon Musk has denigrated Threads several times, and agreed with users who also criticised the app. On Sunday, Musk lashed out at Zuckerberg and called him an explicit name. Prior to the launch of Threads, the two tech billionaires publicly goaded one another into a physical fight.