It’s a good time for Instagram to enter the fray — this past weekend, as Twitter fumbled the bag with rate-limit errors, competitors like Spill, Bluesky and Post saw significant growth. But Threads could have a leg up, since it directly ports over your Instagram followers and following lists. Instead of rebuilding a community from scratch, Threads users will already have their existing Instagram circles there from the get-go.
“Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow,” the App Store description reads. “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.”
Though Threads is closely connected with Instagram, it will be its own stand-alone app. We don’t have much information from the App Store listing alone, but it seems that users can like, comment, repost and share posts. The App Store screenshots also show that you can toggle what audience you want to be able to reply to your posts — everyone, people you follow, or only those mentioned in the post.
The announcement of Threads isn’t particularly shocking, since details have been slowly leaking over the last few months. According to Money Control, an Instagram spokesperson described Threads as “decentralized.” And in leaked slides from a briefing with top creators, Meta said that Threads would be compatible with Mastodon, which is hosted on the decentralized network ActivityPub. But if Threads is part of Instagram, a very centralized app, this doesn’t quite make sense — we’ll see how that rumor pans out. Other rumors are pretty much confirmed, though — all of the details in the App Store listing are consistent with what we learned from the leaked slides.
Meta’s side apps haven’t always been successful. In the past few years, it has sunsetted products like the anonymous teen app tbh, the Cameo-like app Super, Nextdoor clone Neighborhoods, the couples app Tuned, the student-focused social network Campus, the video dating service Sparked and more. But Threads is launching at the perfect time to capitalize on Twitter’s constant snafus. It’s up to consumers, though, to decide if they want Meta to rule yet another facet of their social media experience.