With all that is going on at Twitter, the sight of a dissatisfied Twitter user has become increasingly commonplace. And if the horde of issues over the past few months have not been enough, what might be enough to break the proverbial straw on the camel’s back was Twitter’s latest decision to limit the number of tweets users can see per day. With all hell breaking loose, Meta senses an opportunity to perhaps take on the only social media sphere where it doesn’t dominate. Instagram’s ‘Threads’, pretty much a Twitter alternative, is debuting on July 6, as per a listing on the iOS App Store.
The development was made known to all via a listing on Apple’s App Store for the app, showing a version that is ready to come to Apple’s iPhone. Instagram’s Threads, slated for a July 6 launch, presents itself as an alternative to Twitter, offering users a platform to “express themselves through text-based posts”. With a resemblance to Twitter’s interface, Threads aims to attract disgruntled Twitter users seeking a fresh social media experience. Meta and Instagram declined to comment on the matter.
As Twitter faces continuous challenges, including user frustrations over algorithmic changes, moderation policies, and limited character counts, the arrival of Threads could not have come at a more opportune time. Many Twitter users have been vocal about their discontent, expressing a desire for alternative platforms that better cater to their preferences and needs. While Threads may resemble Twitter in terms of text-based posts and user interactions, it operates within the ecosystem of Instagram, offering a unique blend of features. The app has been in development since January and is set to integrate directly with Instagram.
The highly-anticipated Twitter rival is slated to come with a functionality that is similar to Twitter, wherein users can engage with the text-based posts by liking, commenting on, and sharing them. In fact, they will be able to follow the accounts they follow on Instagram, as well as retain their username. It is currently available for pre-order. With Twitter already facing challenges, the emergence of a potential rival could further intensify the competition among social media platforms, especially as Twitter alternatives like Mastodan are already seeing an increase in the number of users on its platform. As per CEO Eugen Rochko, the number of active users rose by 294,000 over the weekend at Mastodan.
The official description of Threads on the App Store describes it as a “text-based conversation app,” wherein “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.”
It will be interesting to see whether the upcoming Threads can take advantage of the vacuum that Twitter is leaving in the social media landscape, especially since users are frustrated with the micro-blogging sites loosened content moderation policies and the requirement of a monthly subscription fee to be labelled as an authentic account (aka Twitter Blue). And last week, Twitter suffered an extended outage before it began to put “temporary limits” on the number of posts users can see. Twitter owner and former CEO Elon Musk attributed the decision to addressing “extreme levels” of data scraping and system manipulation. Twitter users were soon met with messages that they had exceeded their “rate limit,” thus rendering the app unusable after a short amount of time.