Twitter’s rumored competitor to Instagram has just appeared on the iOS App Store in the US. The app will be called Threads, and according to App Store data, it’s expected to launch on July 6.
It’s a good time for Instagram to enter the fray: Last weekend, while Twitter was tangling with rate cap bugs, competitors like Spill, Bluesky, and Post all saw significant growth. But Threads might have an advantage, as it transfers directly to your Instagram followers and watchlists. Rather than rebuild a community from scratch, Threads users will already have their existing Instagram circles there right out of the box.
“Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’s trending tomorrow,” the App Store description reads. “Whatever 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 to share your ideas, opinions, and creativity with the world.”
Although Threads is closely related to Instagram, it will be its own standalone app. We don’t have a lot of information just from the App Store listing, but it looks like users can like, comment, repost, and share posts. The App Store screenshots also show that you can toggle which audience you want to be able to reply to your posts: everyone, the people you follow, or just those mentioned in the post.
Threads’ announcement isn’t particularly shocking, as details have been slowly leaking out over the past few months. According to Money Control, an Instagram spokesperson described Threads as “decentralized.” And in leaked slides from a briefing with top creators, Meta said that Threads would be compatible with Mastodon, which is hosted on the ActivityPub decentralized network. But if Threads is part of Instagram, a very centralized app, this doesn’t make much sense – we’ll see how that rumor plays out. However, other rumors are pretty much confirmed: all the details in the App Store listing are consistent with what we learned from the leaked slides.
Meta’s secondary applications have not always been successful. In recent years, it has phased out products like anonymous teen app tbh, Cameo-like app Super, Nextdoor Neighborhoods clone, couples app Tuned, student-focused social network Campus, video dating service Sparked and more. But Threads is launching at the perfect time to capitalize on Twitter’s ongoing woes. However, it’s up to consumers to decide if they want Meta to govern yet another facet of their social media experience.