Instagram’s answer to Twitter has debuted on the iOS App Store in the United States. The newly released app, Threads, is expected to be fully available starting July 6.
The timing couldn’t be better for Instagram’s entry into the market. With recent rate-limit errors causing frustration among Twitter users, competing platforms such as Spill, Bluesky, and Post experienced significant growth.
However, Threads may be advantageous as it integrates users’ existing Instagram followers and following lists. Threads users can engage with their established Instagram circles right from the start by bypassing the need to build a community from scratch.
The App Store description of Threads emphasises its role as a hub for communities to discuss current and upcoming topics of interest. Users will have the ability to follow and connect with their favourite creators and like-minded individuals. Additionally, they can cultivate their loyal following and share ideas, opinions, and creativity with the world.
While Threads is closely tied to Instagram, it functions as a separate stand-alone app. Although details are limited based solely on the App Store listing, users can likely like, comment, repost, and share posts.
There is also a feature that allows users to choose the audience who can reply to their posts — options include everyone, people they follow, or only those mentioned in the post.
The announcement of Threads did not come as a surprise, as information about the app has been gradually leaked over the past few months. Reports suggested that Threads is being described as ‘decentralised’ by an Instagram spokesperson, and leaked slides from a briefing with top creators indicate compatibility with Mastodon, a decentralised network based on ActivityPub. However, the connection between Threads and the centralised Instagram platform remains unclear.
While Meta’s previous side apps have not always achieved success, the launch of Threads comes at an opportune moment when Twitter is facing its own troubles.