Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, has made a history of copying features from other platforms. This time around, Meta has released Threads, an Instagram-connected social media app that works more like Twitter and should eventually connect to Mastodon.
Meta, as the creator of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, has been behind Twitter for many, many years. The company tried to buy Twitter in 2008, but it didn’t work. Last year, Elon Musk acquired Twitter and then quickly ruined it. That has led to a surge in popularity of Twitter-like platforms, and now Meta’s version is live.
Threads is a microblogging platform that is similar to Twitter and allows you to post texts of up to 500 characters. This is nearly double Twitter’s standard 280-character limit, but still enough so that posts don’t feel like a wall of text. The platform itself is heavily tied to Instagram, and if you have an Instagram account, you can sign up for Threads with a couple of taps. All identifiers are pre-reserved: your username on Instagram will be your username on Threads.
It was scheduled to release today, but Meta did a surprise release early yesterday afternoon. And so far, it’s actually seeing a lot of adoption, with the platform reaching up to 20 million users in the first few hours of launch. However, many of those accounts are brands rather than real people. Instagram’s user base is in the billions, so we can only hope that this number will continue to rise as time goes by. However, it is currently restricted from the European Union due to its privacy concerns – this is the same company that gave us Facebook, so it is verified.
As it continues to grow, we can also expect a host of other changes. Threads is supposed to work well with Mastodon and Fediverse, and will get ActivityPub support in the future. The exact degree to which Mastodon and Threads will be interoperable remains to be seen, but you will be able to follow and interact with Mastodon users from within Threads. In addition, Mastodon users will be able to follow Threads users using their full username, such as “@firstname.lastname@example.org”.
If you want to give it a try, Threads is now available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Source: Meta, 9to5Google