Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is gearing up to launch its long-rumored Twitter competitor, Threads, on July 6. The app promises to provide a more organized and civilized alternative to the chaos of Twitter, especially in light of recent controversies on the platform. Threads will serve as a space for communities to engage in discussions about various topics, enabling users to follow and connect with their favorite creators and like-minded individuals. The app's apparent openness to all users at launch and integration with existing Instagram accounts are expected to attract significant interest. As Meta aims to position Threads as a "sanely run" platform, Twitter's recent hiccups may offer an opportunity for competition.
Rumors about Threads first emerged in March, with limited details available at the time. However, recent developments suggest that Meta has been working diligently on its social media rival. The app was spotted on the Google Play store in Europe, and by Monday night, it appeared on the Apple App Store, both listing the July 6 launch date. While Meta has not officially confirmed the date, the proximity to Twitter's recent troubles might indicate a strategic decision to capitalize on the growing demand for alternatives.
Threads is positioning itself as a space for thoughtful and respectful discussions among communities. Users will be able to connect with others who share similar interests, engage with their favorite creators, and even build their following to share their ideas and creativity. Initial screenshots suggest that Threads will blend elements of Instagram and Twitter, but specifics remain scarce.
Meta's push with Threads may be timely given recent controversies on Twitter. Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, announced plans to limit most users to reading only 600 tweets per day. This move sparked outrage and resulted in numerous power users fleeing the platform, causing competitor Bluesky, founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, to experience temporary disruptions. Bluesky is currently accessible only via a limited invitation system, leaving an opening for Threads to seize a broader audience.
The new app's accessibility and open nature could attract users seeking alternatives to Twitter's restrictive policies. Celebrities have been courted by Meta to use Threads, and the company has reportedly marketed the platform as a "sanely run" social media space. Meanwhile, Musk's controversial interactions with far-right figures and decisions surrounding Twitter's limitations have caused concerns among advertisers.
As Meta readies Threads for launch, Twitter's internal issues have raised questions. Musk hired NBCUniversal's Linda Yaccarino as CEO, but her presence and updates on the company's problems have been scarce. The company's handling of the tweet limit issue has also been less transparent, with neither Yaccarino nor Musk addressing internal staff inquiries about the matter.
In a separate move, Twitter announced that its beloved feature, Tweetdeck, will become subscription-only starting next month. This decision marks a significant shift in Twitter's monetization strategy, as previously free features will now be behind a paywall.
With Threads on the horizon, Meta is keen to establish a foothold in the competitive social media landscape and challenge Twitter's dominance. While the launch of Threads remains to be seen, its potential success will largely depend on how it differentiates itself from existing platforms and how well it addresses users' concerns about privacy and content moderation. Meta's ambition to create a more controlled and respectful environment on Threads will likely resonate with users seeking a less tumultuous social media experience. As the launch date approaches, many will be closely watching to see if Threads can indeed be the alternative Twitter users have been waiting for.