Facebook is launching a Twitter rival via Instagram: What to know about Threads


Meta is preparing to launch a Twitter rival as soon as Thursday

You can pre-order Threads, billed as an app to “share ideas & trends with text,” in the Apple App Store. 

Threads is essentially a text-based version of Instagram. It uses your Instagram username and automatically follows the same people you already follow on your Instagram account.

In March, Meta said it was exploring a text-based platform where “creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests.” Meta did not respond to a request for comment.

“We believe Zuckerberg and Meta are looking to aggressively launch Threads and gain share from some of the Twitter fallout,” Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives told USA TODAY. 

Piggybacking on Instagram, which has more than 2 billion monthly active users, could help Threads gain traction. In the Facebook tradition, Instagram frequently introduces features pioneered by other social media platforms.

Threads could be a threat to Twitter, which has become controversial under new owner Elon Musk. Disaffected users have flocked to alternatives including Bluesky, Mastodon and Post

Musk recently capped how many posts some Twitter users can see on the platform. He said it was a temporary “emergency measure” “to address extreme levels of data scraping & system manipulation.” On Tuesday, Twitter said the restrictions “affect a small percentage of people using the platform, and we will provide an update when the work is complete.”

Even with Twitter’s challenges, Ives says Meta will face significant hurdles trying to unseat Twitter. 

“Leveraging off its Instagram installed base makes a ton of sense but we believe this will be an uphill battle to gain market share at scale with fierce competition,” he said. 

He also pointed out that Meta, which has undergone multiple rounds of layoffs, is spread thin across many initiatives. 

USA TODAY reached out to Twitter for comment and received an automated reply with a poop emoji.

The Thread product launch comes as Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Instagram owner Meta, make noise about staging a billionaire brawl.


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