Twitter owner Elon Musk is apparently unhappy with the phenomenal rise of Threads, the new social media platform launched by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. While Zuckerberg’s platform is setting user records, the website traffic of Twitter is reportedly going down.
The ‘fight,’ which has not yet entered the mixed martial arts (MMA) ring, is intense, with Musk and Zuckerberg exchanging jibes over the weekend after the launch of Threads.
Zuckerberg’s latest social media platform is essentially an extension of Instagram and has been dubbed both a ‘Twitter killer’ and ‘Twitter clone’ in the media. With Threads, Meta now controls four of the world’s biggest social media platforms — Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are the other three. Apart from Musk’s Twitter, Google’s video-sharing platform YouTube and TikTok by Chinese company ByteDance are among the other large non-Meta platforms.
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Elon Musk vs Mark Zuckerberg
Musk fires salvo at Zuckerberg
Musk has been targeting Threads since around the time of its release.
Reacting to a journalist’s allegation that Threads is actively engaging in censorship among other issues, Musk criticised the platform on 8 July saying, “Threads is just Instagram minus pics, which makes no sense, given that thirst pics are the main reason people use that app. How many times have you read comments on Insta pics & wished there were more? Personally, never.”
Accurate assessment. Threads is just Instagram minus pics, which makes no sense, given that thirst pics are the main reason people use that app.
How many times have you read comments on Insta pics & wished there were more? Personally, never.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 8, 2023
But he soon got personal. Following the launch of Threads, a Twitter page called Data Hazard shared the screenshot of a conversation between American fast food chain Wendy’s and the Meta CEO on Threads.
The screenshot shows Wendy’ writing, “Hey @zuck, you should go to space just to really make him mad lol”. The post was a reference to Musk. Zuckerberg replied with a laughing emoji.
Reacting to the screenshot, Musk responded, “Zuck is a c**k.”
It didn’t just end there. Around eight hours later, Musk put out another tweet calling for a “a literal d**k measuring contest” between him and Zuckerberg.
The choice of words by the Twitter owner was so surprising that even a blue-tick parody handle that runs in the name of ‘Elon Musk’ ironically tweeted, “At this point, I can’t keep track of which account I’m tweeting from.”
On the other hand, the Meta CEO has not responded to Musk’s choice of words but he did take a jibe at his rival using the latter’s own characteristic style.
When a user on Threads, a former Meta engineer, pointed out that the word “Threads” appears to have been censored from Twitter’s Trending topics, Zuckerberg simply responded with the word “Concerning” with a laughing emoji. It was seen as mocking Musk as the word is a reference to one of his most-used responses on Twitter.
Threads continues breaking records while Twitter is ‘tanking’
On 10 July, Zuckerberg announced that Threads has hit 100 million sign-ups, just five days after its launch. The platform thus broke the record held by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which reached 100 million active users in two months.
In fact, Threads had already dethroned ChatGPT in less than 24 hours of its launch by surpassing 10 million active users.
On the other hand, Twitter seems to be on a downhill spiral. According to Reuters, Mathew Prince, CEO of network service company Cloudflare, said that data shows that Twitter has been “tanking” since Musk took the reins.
According to data analytics platform Similarweb, Twitter’s web traffic was down 11 per cent from the year prior in the days after the Threads launch, compared to the 4 per cent it was down year-over-year as of June.
But Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino has doubled down on the claim that everything is right with the platform that was originally co-founded by Jack Dorsey.
“Don’t want to leave you hanging by a thread… but Twitter, you really outdid yourselves! Last week we had our largest usage day since February. There’s only ONE Twitter. You know it. I know it,” she tweeted on 11 July.
Don’t want to leave you hanging by a thread… but Twitter, you really outdid yourselves! Last week we had our largest usage day since February. There’s only ONE Twitter. You know it. I know it. 🎤
— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayacc) July 10, 2023
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This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India