Threads launch leads to surge in Zuck vs Musk memes

The launch of Meta's "text-based conversation" app Threads - a direct competitor to Elon Musk's Twitter - has sparked a frenzy of meme posting from internet users.
Shubhangi Dua
The battle of the social networks – Threads vs Twitter
The battle of the social networks – Threads vs Twitter

Elon Musk / Interesting Engineering COM & O / iStock via Canva  

The internet came alive today with the official launch of Meta's new Threads app and the immediate responses from those who have started using the new "text-based conversation" app across both Twitter and Threads.

Nearly three weeks ago Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg addressed rumors surrounding the unveiling of a new social media network called Project 92 in a podcast interview hosted by Lex Fridman.

Watch Fridman interviewing Zuckerberg here:

Zuckerberg told Fridman, “text is very accessible for people to transmit ideas and to have back-and-forth exchanges, it ends up being a good format for discussion, in many ways uniquely good. One of the unique things about it is that content can also be first-class. 

Now that the rumours have become reality, the new text-based social network has caused social media users to swarm the internet with jokes and memes that lampoon the billionaire's rivalry. 

Mark Zuckerberg kicked things off from his personal Twitter account, with his first Tweet since 2012 goading Musk with a popular Spiderman meme post, where two Spidermen meet - a nod to the similarity between Threads and Twitter.

People quickly started to reply, mocking the extensive list privacy and data permissions required by the new app, a common feature and criticism of much of Meta's suite of products.

Following the podcast, and Threads rumours, Musk challenged Zuckerberg on social media to a cage fight at Vegas Octagon.

With the launch of Threads, the so-far friendly rivalry between two of the world's richest men has taken on a new dimension.

Meme rage

Co-founder & CEO of Bloom Institute of Technology, Austen Allred tweeted: 

“My Facebook/Instagram social graph is basically all the people I knew in High School – “A place where you can read all the Twitter-like thoughts of the people you follow on Instagram” sounds like a special hell.” 

Musk responded to the tweet with a laughing-with-tears emoji and a hundred percent emoji.

Another Tweet from Internals Tech Emails illustrates Elon Musk on Instagram supported by an image from August 21, 2018. The image is of an email from Musk to Juleanna Glover stating, “I just deleted my Instagram. Weak Sauce.”

Musk tweeted back saying, “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram.”

A meme on Twitter that caught the attention of Musk was posted by DogeDesigner who tweeted an image of a keyboard capturing the current climate between the two tech giants. The tweet states, “Meta's new app was built entirely using this keyboard.”

Another post by British satirist Cold War Steve showcased Musk in his underpants holding up a posterboard saying “Free Speech £9.60 (12.26) per month.”

Meanwhile, many die-hard Twitter fans were quick to demonstrate their loyalty to the blue-bird platform, having given Threads a try:

Many social network users have been sarcastically mocking both Musk ad Zuckerberg as the self-styled kings of free speech, while Musk has been adding paywalls to many features on the popular text-based application, and Meta's platforms have been criticised by many - particularly those on the right of politics - for not allowing 'free speech'.

The social networks row

So far, Twitter has dominated the text-based social media space by allowing users to pursue real-time discussions, but recently the platform has hit controversy for the prevalence of anonymous bots and bad actors using the platform to orchestrate 'pile-ons' and 'drag' and abuse those in the public eye.

One tweet mocked the combative nature of Twitter users experiencing the tranquil and friendly atmosphere or Threads for the first time, using a clip of meme-friendly boxing promoter Eddie Hearn:

In what might be seen as a retaliatory move from Musk Interesting Engineering reported last week that he plans to introduce voice and video calls to Twitter, without the need for users to share phone numbers. A feature that would put Twitter in direct competition with Meta-owned WhatsApp and Instagram.

Some would agree it's only fair for the Instagram owner to fight back.

Could launching Twitter's rival be the final straw leading to a much-anticipated billionaire bout between the two CEOs?

I guess we will have to wait and see, but with huge numbers of Instagram users testing out the new Threads platform, it looks like Zuck has Musk in a tricky half-nelson that it will take some time for Musk and Twitter to find their way out from.

IE will continue to report on developments.

Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron
Job Board