What Is Threads?
In the wake of any downfall, there is a power vacuum. With Twitter’s reputation dubious at best these days, rival social media companies are hard at work to take it’s spot on your device’s home screen. Enter: Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram.
The name, Threads, may sound familiar as a social media platform. If so, that’s likely because Meta has released an Instagram companion app called Threads before. Launched on October 3, 2019, the original Threads was described by Tech Crunch as “Instagram’s next big swing at Snapchat” and marketed as a close-friends-only social media channel. The app lived for just two years, and then perished circa December, 2021. Sad, right?
But it looks like there will be a resurrection of sorts this Thursday! The Verge reported on July 1 that a new Threads app has been under development since January, 2023 under several Meta code names, primarily “Project 92.” On July 3 and 4, respectively, Tech Crunch and The Verge both announced that Threads is coming to an app store near you on July 6! That’s right folks. This is a surprise launch that will allow those of us who are tired of Elon Musk’s Twitter antics to switch to a new platform as soon as two days after the 4th of July! What’s more, you can pre-order so you don’t miss the launch!
Pre-Order the Instagram Threads App
Straight from the horse’s mouth, here’s what the Threads App Store description has to say:
“Threads is where 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.”
I’ve already pre-ordered the app. What’s more, Meta has introduced a fun easter egg within Instagram to promote Threads. If you type the word, “threads,” or several related keywords into the app search bar, you’ll see a little Admit One ticket appear toward the right side of your input. Tap on that, and you’re given a personalized, spinning invitation card to download Threads. See that here:
Here’s What We Know
A Little More Backstory
On October 27, 2022, just over eight months ago at the time I’m writing this article, Musk bought the top spot at Twitter and began a tirade of unpopular, nonsensical, and transparently money-grabbing changes to the platform, infuriating the majority of its user base. With an approval rating of just 34%, it’s no surprise that Musk has inspired many to seek enjoyment elsewhere.
If I can be frank, I think most of us would agree that Elon Musk’s Twitter is akin to a dumpster fire at 451° Fahrenheit, destroying the open discourse and convenience so many people had come to love from the social media giant. Since it’s launch in 2006, Twitter has become an important space for social and political discussion, popular especially among the younger generations and tech junkies.
Meta’s Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox, is quoted as calling Threads a direct response to Musk’s Twitter, saying “We’ve been hearing from creators and public figures who are interested in having a platform that is sanely run” in reference to the blue bird in the room.
Features & Interface
Meta is calling Threads an Instagram companion app, but it’s been called a near clone of Twitter and its goal seems to be to corner the micro-blogging market that’s been so long occupied by its competitor. Threads’ text-based feed is rumored to be limited to 500 characters, and users will be able to sign up using their instagram account. This may enable users to import/keep their current audience, which would be a huge benefit to most people, who dread having to start over on a new channel.
Aside from this, users will be treated to all the features we’ve come to expect from a modern social platform. Here’s what we can see from available screenshots. You’ll be able to:
- Follow accounts
- See verified badges
- Post text and emojis up to the character limit
- Supplement your posts, presumably with images, gifs, and videos
- Like posts
- Comment on posts
- Re-post to your profile
- Share posts
- Control who can reply your posts (Anyone, Profiles you follow, or Mentioned only)
- See post timestamps
- See user avatars on posts, replies, and comments
Are you excited for a new social app? Or are you loathe to let Meta control even more of your screen time? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear whether you plan to switch to Threads entirely, use them both, stick to Twitter, or just throw your phone down a well.
Interested in more Studio O’Riley content? Make sure to follow me on Threads this Thursday @studiooriley!