'Twitter killer' drops early: Meta's new social media platform Threads challenges Elon Musk

As Twitter continues to draw major criticism under Elon Musk's management, tech giant Meta has moved up the release date of its social media app competitor and "Twitter killer," called Threads, to Wednesday, July 5 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

The app's original release date was Thursday, July 6 at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT, according to an earlier edition of its countdown timer.

Musk has considerably weakened and downsized Twitter with layoffs and ever-changing policies, losing many of the app's subscribers and advertisers. With social media, it's all about eyeballs on the screen and fingers on the keyboard – and Threads is nothing less than a seismic shift in the growing world of social media.

Tim Bajarin is a tech consultant and the chairman of Creative Strategies, a technology company and market researcher based in California.

"It's struggling at this particular moment. Even though he's got a new CEO, it's very clear he's still in charge," Bajarin said.

11 May 2023, USA, San Francisco: Twitters logo is seen on the headquarters of the short message service. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/dpa (Photo by Andrej Sokolow/picture alliance via Getty Images)

CBS News tech analyst and LA Times syndicated columnist Larry Magid has followed high-tech for four decades, long before the creation of social media.

"If you have to start from scratch, it takes a long time, if you're ever successful in getting a critical mass of people there that folks want to communicate with," Magid said.

Magid pointed to Donald Trump's social media platform, Truth Social, as an example.

"It doesn't have very many users – a fraction of even his own followers on Twitter, let alone the size of a Twitter, or Facebook or an Instagram. It's tiny," Magid said. Bajarin similarly dubbed Truth Social as "a big failure."

But Meta, helmed by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a formidable challenger to Twitter, owning not one but two social media giants: Facebook and Instagram.

"One of the big advantages that Threads has is that it's an offshoot or extension of Instagram. So you use your Instagram account to log on to this new app," Magid said.

"They have, already, almost a billion users to push this to, and if they do it right, they could suck even more users from Twitter. And he's gonna blast this to every single one of them. I think it's a huge threat to Twitter," Bajarin said.

KTVU reached out to Twitter for comment and has not yet received a response.


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