Threads, Meta’s App Rivaling Twitter, Sparks Privacy Concerns
Meta’s Threads app, positioned as a rival to Twitter, launches on July 6.
The app is generating privacy concerns due to its data collection practices.
Meta’s Threads, a microblogging app set to rival Twitter, goes live on Thursday. Available for pre-order on the Apple App Store, the app will be linked to Instagram and feature a Twitter-like dashboard. Meta describes Threads as a “text-based conversation app.”
However, Meta’s new app collects not only personal information but also an array of sensitive data, extending to users’ contact information and browsing history. Threads app collects data associated with the user identity, which brings concerns about user privacy. The app can see the following information: Health and Fitness, Purchases, Financial Information, Location, Contacts, User Content, Search History, Identifiers, Usage Data, Sensitive Information, Diagnostics, and Other Data.
Threads uses this gathered data to construct a detailed profile of user preferences, which could be sold to advertisers and third-party entities. In addition, the app could employ this data to manipulate users’ feeds, presenting content designed to captivate and engage them.
According to a listing on Apple’s App Store, Threads will allow users to continue following the accounts they do on Instagram while retaining their existing usernames. Described as a platform where communities converge to engage in conversations encompassing a broad range of topics, Threads promises to connect users with their current interests and future trends.
Over the weekend, Twitter’s exec chair Elon Musk implemented limitations on the visibility of tweets, attributing the decision to concerns over extensive “data scraping.” He also decided that users should pay to use TweetDeck. However, based on information available on Meta’s Threads app, the app service will be free, with no constraints on the number of posts users can access.
Threads presents a substantial challenge to Twitter, potentially marking its most significant threat. Meta, known for his track record of successfully adopting and implementing ideas from other companies, has demonstrated this pattern with Reels, a TikTok-like feature, and Stories, reminiscent of Snapchat.
Threads’ integration into the existing Instagram platform further strengthens its potential, as it will be immediately connected to millions of user accounts. Unlike aspiring competitors, Threads benefits from a pre-established user base.
The rumour about Threads was first announced in May.
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