• Mark Zuckerberg is coming for Elon Musk.
  • Aside from surreal cage fight plans, Zuckerberg wants to displace Twitter with a clone called Threads.
  • The timing is perfect: Twitter is in disarray and the Meta chief is ready to capitalize on the chaos.

Mark Zuckerberg is ready to eat Elon Musk for breakfast

Not only is the jiu-jitsu-practicing Meta chief preparing to wipe the floor with Musk in a cage fight — which in its latest bizarre development may or may not take place in Rome’s Colosseum — but his killer instinct is out to get Musk’s $44 billion plaything too: Twitter. 

Zuckerberg is set to bring his Twitter killer, Threads, out into the wild this week, with pre-orders for the “text-based-conversation” service going live on Monday. The official launch of the app, which integrates with Instagram, is slated for July 6.  

Instagram's new app "Threads" is listed on Google Play android app store, pictured is a screenshot of the product from the listing

What the new Threads app looks like.

Screengrab/Google Play/Instagram; Insider/Sydney Bradley

The timing of it all speaks volumes about Zuckerberg’s ambitions: to make a mockery of the world’s richest man – inside the ring and out. 

Zuckerberg’s timing is comically good

Zuckerberg has reportedly always thought of Twitter as a serious enterprise in joke wrapping. 

In the 2013 book “Hatching Twitter,” author Nick Bilton wrote that Zuckerberg once described Twitter thus — “it’s as if they drove a clown car into a gold mine and fell in.”

The clown horn is only sounding louder. Outages at Twitter have been frequent, user trust has rapidly diminished in the absence of content moderation, and ad revenue has run out the front door. 

Last week, Musk pretty much broke the site by imposing heavy limits on the number of tweets users can see daily. He cited an apparent issue with “data scraping” — almost certainly the result of his new charges on developers’ ability to access Twitter’s API.

The timing of a new competitor just as Twitter’s overlord denies its users their doom scrolling is comically good. 

To be sure, there have been a number of other Twitter copycats emerging in the midst of Musk’s chaos, which have aimed to capitalize on frustrations with Twitter by offering an alternative. Bluesky and Mastodon are out there giving it their best shot at attracting users, but remain well behind on adoption.

But Zuckerberg, while not particularly inventive, is outstanding when it comes to successfully copycatting his peers. Instagram’s Stories have long outgunned the original Snap Stories. Reels isn’t quite as popular as TikTok, but has a strong watch rate. Zuck is a master of identifying successful, novel concepts in other platforms and integrating them into Meta’s various apps.

 In December, a little over a month after Musk completed his Twitter buyout, The New York Times reported that a Meta employee said the company should go for Twitter’s “BREAD AND BUTTER” as the billionaire turned the app upside down. “Twitter is in crisis and Meta needs its mojo back,” the employee post reportedly said.

Threads, the new service, was in development as soon as January. 

Musk should worry. Thread being a part of Instagram means the new service will have a much bigger launch platform than a standalone rival.

He’s shown himself to be nettled, challenging Zuckerberg to a physical fight and trying to criticize Threads over its privacy policy.  

Zuckerberg’s already looking like a comfortable favorite in a physical duel. If Musk doesn’t get Twitter back into shape soon, he’ll be a loser in the virtual arena too.