In an eagerly awaited move, Instagram is poised to unveil its rival to Twitter with the launch of Threads on Thursday, as indicated by an Apple App Store listing. Offering text-based posts that can be liked, commented on, and shared, the app will operate similarly to Twitter. The App Store listing showcases screenshots of the app, displaying its functionality. Users will have the ability to follow the same accounts they currently follow on Instagram and retain their existing usernames. However, Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Instagram, declined to comment on the impending release.
With this launch, Meta aims to capitalize on Twitter’s recent challenges since Elon Musk assumed control of the social media service last year. Users have expressed frustration with Twitter’s looser content moderation policies, the introduction of a monthly subscription fee for authentic account verification, and issues with site reliability. In response, many users have begun searching for alternative platforms. While existing Twitter rivals like Mastodon and Bluesky are still in their early stages and lack a robust user base, Instagram has been actively promoting its upcoming app for months, leveraging the involvement of celebrities and influencers to generate anticipation for its debut.
The App Store listing allows users to “pre-order” Threads, which is expected to become available on Thursday. Described as a platform where communities converge to discuss current and trending topics, Threads aims to foster engaging conversations. Meta has a history of emulating successful features from competitors, and while not all have achieved the desired results, their copycat products can quickly gain traction. A prime example is the “stories” feature, borrowed from Snapchat in 2016, which has since become immensely popular on Meta’s apps, surpassing Snapchat’s usage. More recently, Meta introduced “reels,” a short-video product akin to TikTok, which has contributed to growth on Instagram and Facebook.
According to Meta’s April report, over 3 billion people used at least one of the company’s apps—Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp—on a daily basis in the first quarter of this year. As Threads enters the competitive social media landscape, all eyes will be on its potential to challenge Twitter’s dominance and carve out its own place in the realm of online conversations and connections.