Meta Set to Introduce Threads, a Twitter-Like App
Instagram's highly anticipated Twitter competitor, Threads, has made its debut on the iOS App Store in the United States. Set to officially launch on July 6, the app aims to tap into the growing demand for alternative social media platforms.
The timing seems favorable for Instagram's entry into this space. Over the weekend, Twitter faced issues with rate-limit errors, which led to the rise of competitors like Spill, Bluesky, and Post, all experiencing significant growth. However, Threads may have an advantage since it seamlessly integrates users' existing Instagram followers and following lists. This eliminates the need to rebuild a community from scratch, as Threads users will instantly have their established Instagram circles at their disposal.
According to the App Store description, Threads is designed as a platform for communities to come together and engage in discussions about various topics of interest. It emphasizes the ability to follow and connect with favorite creators and like-minded individuals. Users can also develop a loyal following of their own, sharing their ideas, opinions, and creativity with the world.
Although Threads is closely linked to Instagram, it will function as a standalone app. While limited information is available from the App Store listing, it appears that users will be able to engage with posts by liking, commenting, reposting, and sharing them. The provided App Store screenshots also showcase the option to choose who can respond to posts: everyone, people you follow, or only those mentioned in the post.
The announcement of Threads doesn't come as a surprise, as details have been gradually leaking over the past few months. An Instagram spokesperson previously described Threads as "decentralized," while leaked slides from a briefing with top creators indicated compatibility with Mastodon, which operates on the decentralized network ActivityPub. However, the concept of a decentralized app within the framework of Instagram, a highly centralized platform, raises questions that remain to be answered. Nevertheless, other rumors align with the details mentioned in the App Store listing, providing some confirmation.
Meta, the parent company of Instagram, has had mixed success with its side apps in recent years. Several products, such as the anonymous teen app tbh, the Cameo-like app Super, Nextdoor clone Neighborhoods, couples app Tuned, student-focused social network Campus, and video dating service Sparked, have been discontinued. However, Threads is entering the scene at an opportune moment, capitalizing on Twitter's frequent mishaps. Ultimately, it will be up to consumers to decide whether they embrace Meta's further expansion into their social media experiences.