Bottom line: Meta is finding out the hard way that launching and operating a social media platform which mirrors an existing service is subject to the same hardships as the original.
Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said in a Threads post on Monday that spam attacks have recently intensified, prompting the company to tighten things up such as rate limits. Unfortunately, the change will likely lead to some unintentional limiting of active (real) people. Should that happen to you, Mosseri adds, simply reach out to customer support and they should be able to lend a helping hand.
Meta launched Threads earlier this month to a rip-roaring reception. The service attracted two million signups in the first two hours, and blew past 10 million signups in seven hours. By the following morning, Threads already had 30 million registered users. By the first weekend, the service had hit 100 million mostly organic signups.
As you can imagine, Twitter boss Elon Musk was not too torn up over Threads' early struggles.
Lmaooo– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 17, 2023
Twitter had to implement similar limitations in recent weeks to combat what Musk described as "extreme levels of data scraping" from hundreds of organizations. For a brief spell, newly registered, unverified users were only allowed to view 300 posts a day. The limit was eventually increased to 500 per day for new, unverified accounts. Over the weekend, Musk said Twitter would soon be increasing the rate limit for verified users by 50 percent.
Instagram had to make several concessions to get Threads to market as soon as possible. The service launched without support for several core features including direct messages, hashtags, and post searching. The service also has strict guidelines against nudity.
It is still very early days for Threads and it's probably a safe bet that this is only the first of several growing pains. How the company handles issues like this and others will be instrumental in keeping users engaged early on. Filling in some of the missing core features wouldn't hurt, either.
Image credit: Cristobal Herrera-Ulashkevich