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Meta’s Threads Hits 10 Million Users, Questions Arise On Politics & News Embrace

Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, discusses the role of politics and news on Threads as it competes with Twitter.

In its first seven hours, the social media app Threads from Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META) passed 10 million users.

As the platform grows, more users are asking questions about the goals of Threads and how it compares and competes with Elon Musk’s Twitter.

Adam Mosseri attends the press night after party for the new cast of “2:22 A Ghost Story” at 100 Wardour St on February 1, 2023, in London, England. Mosseri heads Instagram for Meta. (David M. Benett/Getty Images) 

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, recently shared his thoughts on the role of news and politics on Threads.

“Politics and hard news are inevitably going to show up on Threads — they have on Instagram as well to some extent — but we’re not going to do anything to encourage those verticals,” said Mosseri about politics on Threads.

Mosseri was replying to several users, including The Verge’s Alex Heath who insisted that if Threads was going to be “a real Twitter competitor,” it would need to embrace the news industry.

“The goal isn’t to replace Twitter,” Mosseri replied. “The goal is to create a public square for communities on Instagram that never really embraced Twitter and for communities on Twitter that are interested in a less angry place for conversations, but not all of Twitter.”

In another post, Mosseri said that Threads won’t down-rank news or politics.

“If we are honest, we were too quick to promise too much to the industry on Facebook in the early 2010s, and it would be a mistake to repeat that.”

Mosseri also said that politics and hard news come with risks. “From a platform’s perspective, any incremental engagement or revenue they might drive is not at all worth the scrutiny, negativity (let’s be honest), or integrity risks that come along with them.”

There are “more than enough” communities covering sports, music, fashion, beauty and entertainment on Threads that can keep the platform from having to focus on politics or hard news, Mosseri explained.

Mosseri previously ran the News Feed for Facebook.

His comments come as Twitter threatens legal action against Threads.

Since acquiring Twitter for $44 billion in 2022, Musk has made clear his intention to make Twitter a public town square of sorts, allowing users free speech and the ability to share their opinion on just about anything.

While Twitter looks to news and political opinions for engagement, Meta has been more distant, particularly with political content.

Threads has 70 million users signed up, according to The Verge.

Also, with the 2024 election becoming one of the most talked-about events across news and social media, it should be noted that Mosseri didn’t say the company would prevent people from posting political items. However, it could be worth monitoring as the company has banned accounts previously.

While users look to make their pick between Twitter and Threads or choose to be on both, differences like politics could be a sticking point for some.

Produced in association with Benzinga

Edited by Alberto Arellano and Joseph Hammond

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