Instagram ‘Threads’, the Twitter competitor from Facebook-parent Meta, that is aiming to capitalise on the disgruntled Twitterati crowd, has gone live on iOS. A notification put for pre-order apps on iOS App Store sent out emailers to users, saying that the ‘Threads’ app is now available to download. The app is also available on Android.

You do not need a separate account for Threads. Your username from Instagram can be used to sign up on the Twitter alternative right away. However, it is unclear as to which accounts are currently being allowed to sign up. The platform also gives you an option to carry forward your gram followers to Threads as well, condition being they are also on Threads.

At launch, Threads is available on the iOS and Android platforms, and in 100 countries, except the EU, thanks to the region’s strict privacy regulations and Meta’s continued unfollowing of the same.

To start using Threads, you would have to first authenticate using your current Instagram login credentials. Once you do that, the app would bring on data from Instagram, automatically to your Threads’ profile. This includes everything from your username to profile picture and even block lists.  Verification will also roll over to the new app.

While pretty much similar to Twitter when it comes to overall functionality, Threads will soon offer support for ActivityPub — the same social networking protocol used by open source Twitter rival Mastodon, along with other federated apps. It says it would introduce something called the ‘Fediverse’, wherein users would be able to navigate across content from multiple social media apps by being on either one of them. There’s no timeline though on the launch of the same.

“We’re committed to building support for ActivityPub, the protocol behind Mastodon, into this app. We weren’t able to finish it for launch given a number of complications that come along with a decentralized network, but it’s coming,” Instagram head Adam Mosseri said before launch. “If you’re wondering why this matters, here’s a reason: you may one day end up leaving Threads, or, hopefully not, end up de-platformed. If that ever happens, you should be able to take your audience with you to another server. Being open can enable that.”

The app however, hasn’t been that well received when it comes to privacy — a concern that continues to remain with almost the entirety of Meta’s family of apps. Similar to how Facebook has repeatedly been sued for collective sensitive user information and selling it out to potential bidders, Threads too collects several sensitive user parameters. Thanks to Apple’s mandatory disclosures, we know for sure that Threads would be collecting Financial info, health and fitness data, usage statistics, contact info (ofcourse!), browsing history as well other ‘sensitive info’ that isn’t complete disclosed.