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Instagram's New App, Threads: The Lowdown and How It Compares with Twitter

Updated: Aug 10, 2023

Mark Zuckerberg's long-anticipated competitor app to Twitter, Threads, has finally been launched, intensifying the rivalry between the Meta CEO and Twitter's owner, Elon Musk. This announcement follows months of speculation, with Threads being lauded as a potential "Twitter killer." Here’s everything you need to know about Instagram's latest offering and how it differs from Twitter.

An Overview of Threads

Created by Instagram, Threads is designed as a platform where users can engage in real-time, public conversations. It's closely tied to Instagram, requiring an Instagram account for registration, and allowing users to directly import their follow list from Instagram. Threads retains the usernames and verified statuses of Instagram users, providing an integrated, seamless experience.

Threads is similar to Twitter in several ways, such as the ability to post text-based messages and engage with the community. However, one notable difference is that Threads doesn't support direct messaging, a feature that Twitter offers, although Instagram has indicated it may add more features based on user feedback.

The Rationale Behind Threads

The birth of Threads comes from Instagram's ambition to simplify its app. Recognizing the rising demand for public social media spaces and the opportunity to challenge Twitter, Instagram decided to separate public conversations from its existing app to avoid clutter. Thus, Threads was spun off as a separate application.

Instagram's future plans for Threads involve integrating it with other platforms as part of a federated universe of services sharing communication protocols, termed the Fediverse. This would allow for seamless operation between platforms, a move which could appeal to creators and influencers, enabling them to transition their following between platforms using the same technology.

Meta's History of App Duplication

Meta, also the owner of Facebook and WhatsApp, has a history of trying to outperform social media rivals by emulating their features. Despite some early failures, like the initial attempts to clone Snapchat, Meta has persisted, with its TikTok clone, Reels, gaining widespread use.

Threads Availability

Threads is available for free download in the United States and approximately 100 other countries. However, Threads will not be initially available in the European Union due to the forthcoming Digital Markets Act, which restricts how large tech companies share data across services.

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