Threads app

Instagram’s Threads goes live, posing a challenge to Twitter’s dominance: Here’s all you need to know about Meta’s new application

The application was launched on Wednesday evening, one day earlier than anticipated. According to Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, it attracted “2 million registrations within the first couple of hours.”

Instagram’s Threads application, a text-focused social media platform designed to contend with Twitter, is now accessible to users in over 100 countries.

The application, which was launched one day ahead of schedule on Wednesday evening, allows users to register directly from their Instagram accounts. This implies that once it’s launched globally, over 2 billion monthly active users could migrate their accounts to Threads.

Within merely seven hours post-launch, Threads drew in at least 10 million sign-ups, inclusive of a rising number of celebrities, stated a spokesperson. Prominent figures such as Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Gordon Ramsay, Tom Brady, and Coldplay were among the early adopters, the spokesperson highlighted.

In a post on the new platform, Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed his hope to witness the Threads community expand to over a billion members. He also made a rare appearance on Twitter, sharing a popular Spider-Man meme which seemed to draw a comparison between Threads and Twitter.

The application presents a scrollable feed of concise text, limited to 500 characters per post, along with the option to add individual or carousel images and videos. Posts will incorporate content from accounts followed by the user, in addition to creators suggested by the platform’s recommendation algorithm. Users can interact by liking, commenting, reposting (including quoting a post), and sharing to their Instagram story or feed.

Even though most features mirror Twitter, the user interface design borrows from Instagram’s aesthetics, including the familiar heart, comment, and share buttons as well as similarly positioned tabs.

Threads app interface
Threads app interface

Threads join an expanding list of platforms like Bluesky and Spill, as well as established rivals like Mastodon, aiming to disrupt Twitter’s monopoly in the microblogging realm.

Once signed in, new users with Instagram accounts are informed that their usernames must remain identical, but they can opt for a different bio and profile link. Verified Instagram users will retain their verification on Threads, too. Users can then opt to follow all accounts they follow on Instagram en masse, which includes preemptively following anyone who has yet to join Threads.

In his inaugural thread, Zuckerberg posted “Let’s do this. Welcome to Threads” with a flame emoji. This thread dates back two days when some big names seemed to have early access.

Notable personalities and brands on the app as of the launch day included Jennifer Lopez, Tom Brady, HBO, and publishers like Teen Vogue.

Accounts already blocked by users on Instagram will be automatically blocked on Threads as well. Those who desire to control interactions can select whether to allow replies from everyone, accounts they follow, or mentions — users whom they’ve directly tagged in a thread — only. Users can also choose to limit mentions of themselves to just accounts they follow or to block them completely.

Instagram’s community guidelines will be upheld on Threads, and users can report each other for violations. Similar to Twitter, users can choose to filter specific words or phrases from their feeds.

Prior to its launch, Meta is said to have given selected creators early access to the app for feature testing and to stimulate sign-ups.

Currently, the app is not accessible in the European Union.

Additionally, Meta is striving to ensure Threads’ compatibility with ActivityPub, a decentralized social networking protocol. This protocol is part of an emerging movement often referred to as the Fediverse, which enables data sharing between social media platforms and other services.

“By doing this, Threads would become interoperable with other apps supporting the ActivityPub protocol, such as Mastodon and WordPress. This would facilitate new types of connections that are presently impossible on most social apps,” the company mentioned in a blog post. “Future support for the ActivityPub protocol has also been announced by other platforms, including Tumblr.”

Should the protocol implementation succeed, Threads users could follow and be followed by users of other platforms. Consequently, a user’s feed on Threads could display posts and accounts from Mastodon, which the user could interact with directly within the app.

Features currently being developed include direct messaging, trending topics, and an “enhanced” search function.

“Threads is intended for public discussions,” stated Instagram head Adam Mosseri in a video announcement. “Our aim is to incorporate some of the elements we’ve developed for images and videos on Instagram into Threads but with a focus on text.”

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