Twitter’s New Competitor: Threads by Instagram, Inc.

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Instagram is stepping into the world of microblogging with its new app, Threads, a direct competitor to Twitter. The app has already appeared on the iOS App Store in the U.S and is expected to launch on July 6.

A Timely Entry

The timing for Instagram’s new venture couldn’t be better. Over the past weekend, Twitter experienced rate-limit errors, leading to a surge in popularity for competitors like Spill, Bluesky, and Post. Threads, however, has a unique advantage. It directly ports over your Instagram followers and following lists, allowing users to engage with their existing Instagram communities without having to start from scratch.

According to the App Store description, “Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow.” Users can follow and connect directly with their favorite creators and others who share the same interests, or build a loyal following of their own to share ideas, opinions, and creativity with the world.

Stand-Alone Yet Connected

While Threads is closely connected with Instagram, it will function as a stand-alone app. Users can like, comment, repost, and share posts. The App Store screenshots also show that users can control who can reply to their posts — everyone, people they follow, or only those mentioned in the post.

Decentralization and Compatibility

Details about Threads have been slowly leaking over the past few months. An Instagram spokesperson described Threads as “decentralized” according to Money Control. Leaked slides from a briefing with top creators indicated that Threads would be compatible with Mastodon, which is hosted on the decentralized network ActivityPub. However, how a decentralized Threads will fit into Instagram, a very centralized app, remains to be seen.

Meta’s Track Record and Future Prospects

Meta, the parent company of Instagram, has had a mixed track record with side apps. Over the past few years, it has discontinued products like the anonymous teen app tbh, the Cameo-like app Super, Nextdoor clone Neighborhoods, the couples app Tuned, the student-focused social network Campus, the video dating service Sparked, and more.

However, Threads is launching at an opportune moment, capitalizing on Twitter’s recent issues. Whether consumers will embrace another social media platform from Meta remains to be seen. As the launch date approaches, the tech world will be watching closely to see if Threads can thread the needle and become a successful player in the social media landscape.

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