Threads

Instagram’s Twitter Rival, Threads, Set to Launch on July 6th

Instagram’s much-awaited Twitter competitor, ‘Threads’, is poised to go live on July 6th, as indicated by its App Store listing showing a version ready for Apple’s iPhone. This launch detail also aligns with the discovery of what seems to be an early listing of the app on the Google Play Store.

To further whet the appetite of eagerly waiting for users, Meta has integrated a launch date teaser within the Instagram app itself. Typing ‘Threads’ or other keywords into the search box triggers a ticket icon to appear on the search bar. Tapping this icon unveils a spinning ticket with your Instagram username and a local launch time, adjusted from 10 AM ET on the 6th. This spinning ticket also carries a QR code linking to threads.net, the web portal for this new social media platform, complete with a countdown timer that ends at the same time.

Threads

The official description of Threads on the App Store provides a tantalizing glimpse of its functionality:

Threads

“Say more with Threads — Instagram’s text-based conversation app. Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow. Whatever it is you’re interested in, you can follow and connect directly with your favorite creators and others who love the same things — or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions, and creativity with the world.”

Both the App Store and Google Play Store listings showcase similar app screenshots, revealing features like logging in with your Instagram handle, locating accounts you follow on Instagram within the new app, and posting in a user interface reminiscent of Twitter, Mastodon, Bluesky, or other text-focused social apps.

Threads

Notably, Meta confirmed last month that Instagram Threads will integrate with the decentralized social media protocol leveraged by Mastodon, called ActivityPub. This move aims to cater to creators and public figures seeking a sanely run platform, potentially sparking a showdown between tech heavyweights Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk.

The announcement of Threads’ launch follows turbulent times at its primary competitor, Twitter. Twitter recently faced backlash for blocking unregistered users from viewing tweets and setting rate limits for logged-in users. The platform also rushed major changes to TweetDeck, a tool favored by journalists and social media professionals, leading to user outcry.

Twitter’s trials led to users exploring alternatives like Bluesky, which had to pause new user signups due to a surge of incoming traffic. Mastodon, however, seems to be weathering the storm, with its CEO expressing optimism.

The news of Threads’ launch date has sparked a Twitter exchange among industry leaders. Responding to tweets highlighting the extensive data that Meta’s App Store listing for Threads may collect about users, Elon Musk retorted with “Thank goodness they’re so sanely run”. Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey chimed in with a cryptic remark: “All your Threads belong to us”. Musk’s response? A simple “Yeah”. It’s worth noting, however, that Instagram’s existing app already links similar data to users according to its app store listing.

As we move closer to the launch date, all eyes are on Instagram’s Threads. Will it be the sanely run platform creators have been clamoring for? Or will it be another player in the already crowded field of social media? Only time will tell.


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