Facebook has made various attempts to compete with Twitter over the years, including replicating features like hashtags and trending topics. However, its parent company, Meta, has now taken a significant step by launching a new app called Threads, which aims to provide a space for real-time conversations online, a core aspect of Twitter’s appeal.

Within seven hours of its launch, Threads garnered 10 million sign-ups, as announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on his verified Threads account. The app bears several similarities to Twitter, from its layout to its product description. The listing emphasizes its potential to foster a following and connect with like-minded individuals.

Zuckerberg stated in a Threads post following the launch, “The vision for Threads is to create an open and friendly public space for conversation. We aim to leverage Instagram’s strengths and build a new experience centered around text, ideas, and discussions on users’ minds.” He also expressed his thoughts on whether Threads could surpass Twitter, stating, “It’ll take some time, but I believe there should be a public conversations app with over 1 billion people. Twitter has had the opportunity but hasn’t fully realized it. Hopefully, we will.”

According to the app’s description, Threads serves as a platform for communities to come together and engage in discussions on various topics, including current interests and trends. Users can follow and connect with their favorite creators and like-minded individuals, or build their own loyal following to share ideas, opinions, and creativity with the world. The app limits messages to 500 characters.

Meta plans to launch the app in 100 countries for Apple’s iOS and Android platforms. After downloading Threads, users are prompted to link their Instagram accounts, customize their profiles, and follow the same accounts they follow on Instagram. The app features a familiar layout resembling Twitter, with a text-based feed, the ability to repost and quote other Thread posts, and it incorporates elements of Instagram’s aesthetic. Additionally, users can directly share posts from Threads to Instagram Stories, and verified Instagram accounts are automatically verified on Threads. Thread accounts can be set as public or private.

With Meta’s extensive resources and massive audience, Threads joins a growing list of Twitter competitors and has the potential to pose a significant threat to Twitter. This launch comes at a time of increased turmoil for Twitter, which recently experienced an outage and announced temporary limits on the number of tweets users can read while using the app.

The rivalry between Meta and Twitter has intensified, amplified by the ongoing friction between Elon Musk, owner of Twitter, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta. Musk has made changes to Twitter since acquiring it, which has led to tensions with advertisers and prominent users. Twitter is now seeking ways to revive its growth, including introducing payment requirements for TweetDeck, a tool used to organize and monitor followed accounts.

Twitter, on the other hand, has made efforts to encroach on Meta’s domain by adding encrypted messaging and announcing plans for voice calls, potentially positioning the platform as a competitor to Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, both owned by Meta.

The rivalry between the two companies has fueled the personal rivalry between Musk and Zuckerberg. In response to a tweet about Threads last month, Musk remarked, “I’m sure Earth can’t wait to be exclusively under Zuck’s thumb with no other options.” Musk also teased the idea of a cage match with Zuckerberg in a subsequent tweet. Zuckerberg retaliated by posting a screenshot of Musk’s tweet on an Instagram story, accompanied by the caption, “Send Me Location.” Additionally, after the debut of the Threads app, Zuckerberg tweeted an image depicting two cartoon Spider-Men pointing at each other, symbolizing the rivalry between the two companies.