They say things in life come full circle, which could be the case for three former Facebook employees who are witnessing the birth of Threads from Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META), a new platform that has soared in popularity with over 10 million downloads.
Seen as Meta Platforms’ answer to social media platform Twitter, Threads is a text-based social media platform widely publicized as a possible Twitter killer and as a spark that potentially led to the proposed cage fight between Twitter owner Elon Musk and Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Launched Wednesday night, Threads has seen strong interest from users and was a trending topic on Twitter.
Users can download the app on their phones or visit threads.net to get directed to the proper download page. Users who visit threads.com are greeted by a different company.
“Threads is a Slack replacement design for makers,” according to Threads. The company provides ways for companies to share their work and connect teams.
Privately held Threads was founded in 2017 by Jon McCord, Mark Rich, Rousseau Kazi, and Suman Venkataswamy. Three of the four co-founders have previous work history at Facebook.
Rich was a data scientist for Facebook from 2013 to 2017; Kazi worked at Facebook for six years including serving as the manager of product; and McCord was a software engineer at Facebook for almost five years.
Kazi began working at Facebook as an intern at the age of 19. Kazi went on to work full-time at the company after graduating early from the University of California, Berkeley, according to CNBC.
Threads is a competing project to Workplace, a communication tool for companies launched by Facebook in 2016.
“Workplace and Threads are superficially similar,” Kazi previously told CNBC. “We have a similar core product, but Workplace is more like Facebook. It feels like a social network. Our product is built from the ground up and designed for work teams in mind.”
Kazi said that Threads allows companies to better connect with their employees than Workplace and other competing companies.
“[Threads] is deliberately designed to help growing teams have discussions and make decisions.”
Threads has raised $11.5 million in funding with Sequoia Capital among the investors. Sequoia Capital partner Mike Vernal, who also previously worked at Facebook, credited the investment to Kazi’s past work at Facebook as “one of the fastest rising people” at the company.
Along with owning Threads.com, Threads also owns the @threads account on Twitter. The account has changed its bio to include the “we have no affiliation with Meta, but you’re welcome to stick around” disclosure.
The launch of Threads, which is already the name of a company and an existing .com address follows similar moves by Meta Platforms.
In October 2021, Facebook announced it was rebranding to Meta Platforms and would change its ticker to reflect the change.
“To reflect who we are and what we hope to build, I am proud to announce that starting today, our company is now Meta,” Zuckerberg said. “From now on, we’re going to be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first.”
While the name change wasn’t a huge surprise from a company that had previously acquired Oculus and pushed into virtual reality and augmented reality, its proposed ticker may have been.
The company announced it would change its well-known FB ticker to MVRS months later. The new ticker was questioned by the public.
With a name change to Meta Platforms, some expected the company to use the META ticker. There was a small problem with the ticker already being in use.
In 2022, Meta Platforms changed its ticker to META. No details have been made public of what deal was reached between Meta Platforms and Roundhill. Meta Platforms is the third largest holding in the metaverse-themed ETF at 5.9% of assets.
Perhaps the best example of not being prepared for name changes was Facebook changing its previous name from TheFacebook.com to Facebook.com. The change led to the company having to spend $200,000 to acquire the facebook.com domain from AboutFace Corporation.
While the $200,000 cost doesn’t sound like much today for a multi-billion dollar company, it was at a time when Facebook was worth less than $10 million.
In 2010, Facebook also acquired the FB.com domain from The American Farm Bureau Federation, paying $8.5 million.
The launch of Threads could be a huge win for Meta Platforms and already has one analyst excited for the future.
Copying the name of a company founded by three former employees and not having the .com website where consumers are likely searching for your new product could be misses by the company that will be analyzed in the future.
Produced in association with Benzinga.
Edited by Sterling Creighton Beard and Kyana Jeanin Rubinfeld
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