Meta launches Twitter rival Threads in 100 countries
Users can log in to Threads using their existing Instagram account, and can transfer their Instagram username and verification while providing the option to personalise their Threads profile.
Meta Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced the launch of Threads, an app that enables users to share text updates and participate in public discussions, presenting a direct competition to Elon Musk-owned micro-blogging platform .
Originally scheduled for a July 6 release at 7:30 pm in India, the text-based conversation application surprised users by launching earlier today. It is now available in over 100 countries for both iOS and Android platforms, and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
“Glad you're all here on day one. Let's build something great together!” Zuckerberg wrote in a thread. “The vision for Threads is to create an open and friendly public space for conversation. We hope to take what Instagram does best and create a new experience around text, ideas, and discussing what's on your mind.”
Similar to Instagram, Threads allows users to connect and follow friends as well as creators. This includes individuals they already follow on Instagram. It enables users to log in using their existing Instagram account, transferring their Instagram username and verification while providing the option to personalise their Threads profile.
For users under 16-years of age (or under 18 in specific countries), a private profile will be the default setting upon joining Threads. In addition, Meta said it will enforce Instagram’s Community Guidelines on content and interactions in the new app.
The text-based conversation app curates a user's feed with posts from followed accounts and recommended content from new creators. Each post can contain up to 500 characters along with links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes long. Users can post their threads as an Instagram story or share on any other platform.
In Threads, users have control over mentions and replies, including the ability to filter out specific words. They can also manage profiles through actions like unfollowing, blocking, or reporting. Notably, any accounts blocked on Instagram will be automatically blocked on Threads as well.
According to Meta, Threads is being developed to be compatible with ActivityPub, the open social networking protocol created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which sets the standards for the modern web. This will enable Threads to seamlessly interact with other applications supporting the ActivityPub protocol, such as Mastodon and WordPress.
“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 decentralised network, but it's coming,” Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, said in a thread.
In addition to making Threads compatible with ActivityPub, Meta plans to add new features like improved feed recommendations and a more powerful real-time search function for easier thread and creator discovery. It currently incorporates key accessibility features already available on Instagram, including screen reader support and AI-generated image descriptions.
Threads’ launch comes a few days after Musk announced temporary limits on Twitter accounts to “address extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation”. These measures enforce specific daily reading limits: verified accounts are restricted to 6,000 posts, unverified accounts are limited to 600 posts, and new unverified accounts face a cap of 300 posts per day.
Although it is early to gauge user response, one Threads user posted, asking if “anyone thinks this can become bigger than Twitter!?”
In response, Zuckerberg said, “It'll take some time, but I think there should be a public conversations app with 1 billion+ people on it. Twitter has had the opportunity to do this, but hasn't nailed it. Hopefully, we will.”
Edited by Megha Reddy