Tech giant Meta recently announced the release date for a new application that could make the Twitter-owned microblogging platform obsolete. The app, dubbed Threads, is expected to be released on Thursday (July 6) and will allow users to follow the accounts they follow on Instagram and keep the same username, as per a listing on Apple’s App Store. The social media app’s launch comes just days after Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced viewing limits on the site, prompting users to seek alternatives.
The Meta app will function nearly identically to Twitter, with text-based posts that can be commented on and shared with other users, according to screenshots of the App Store listing. However, it will allow users to log in using their Instagram credentials, making bringing existing followers to the platform more manageable than starting from scratch.
In the past, there have been several attempts at creating Twitter alternatives. One such service is Mastodon, a federated network that collects independent social media services. It was first created in 2016 by Eugen Rochko and allows users to choose which servers they want to join and which data they will share with those networks. However, many people have been unable to transition from Twitter to Mastodon for various reasons, including the difficulty of migrating existing tweets from one service to another.
Another option is BlueSky, owned by Twitter’s former CEO Jack Dorsey which has a mobile-only interface. However, it’s not open to the public and only offers a closed beta version of its app now. It has been rumored that the company is considering a full-scale launch.
Meta Chief Mark Zuckerberg and Mr. Musk have been engaged in a feud that has gone public on multiple occasions in recent months, primarily over the use of personal information by the two companies. On June 21, Mr. Musk tweeted that he was “up for a cage match” with Mr. Zuckerberg, prompting the latter to respond on Instagram. The two have not met in person but are reportedly undergoing a martial arts training regimen in preparation for the fight.
But the upcoming launch of Threads might bring them to a face-to-face confrontation of a different kind. The social media app is expected to launch as soon as Thursday and will capitalize on the frustrations of Twitter users over the site’s recent changes. The move will also likely put a dent in the advertising revenue generated by the platform, which is still recovering from its rate limit errors earlier this year. Despite the challenges ahead, Meta is readying itself for a showdown with Twitter and appears to have gotten a jump on competitors like BlueSky. The app’s launch will be closely watched to see how well it performs in the marketplace and if it can win over a significant portion of the user base that has abandoned Twitter in droves over current limitations on the platform.