Meta's New Social Media Platform, Threads, and the Future of Social Media Landscape

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Amy Swift 11 months

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, recently launched a new social media platform called Threads, which quickly gained 10 million users within hours of its release. This success can be attributed to the controversial changes made by Elon Musk to Twitter, as Meta capitalized on the opportunity to offer an alternative social space.

Threads is designed to align more closely with Instagram, indicating a potential shift in Meta's future strategy. Although it was built by the Instagram team, Meta's press release for Threads mentions "Instagram" 17 times and "Meta" only once, without mentioning Facebook at all. This deliberate pairing suggests that Meta sees the future of the company and its platforms leaning towards Instagram rather than Facebook.

A noteworthy development mentioned in the press release is the plan to make Threads compatible with ActivityPub, a social networking protocol. This move could lead to a consolidation of the social media environment, simplifying operations for brands and influencers. By allowing cross-platform interaction, brands would only need to post on one platform to engage with followers on all their social media accounts, potentially reshaping the social media landscape.

The success of Threads and Meta's strategic moves raise questions about the relevance of Facebook in the company's portfolio. Facebook's user growth has been stagnating, with only marginal gains in recent years and negative growth in the second quarter of 2022. It remains to be seen how Meta will address this challenge. However, if Meta embraces ActivityPub compatibility across its brand portfolio, including Facebook, it could ensure the platform's future and attract premium rates for advertising.

Despite varying opinions from analysts, Threads is generally viewed as a positive development for Meta and a potential opportunity for advertising revenues. While estimates suggest it may add relatively modest value to Meta shareholders, the app has the potential to attract traditional advertising partners from Twitter, further solidifying Meta's position as a market maker in the social media industry.

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