Prior to the will-they-won’t-they cage fight between Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META) CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) and Twitter honcho Elon Musk, a real business battle is set to clash this week. Instagram’s highly anticipated Twitter rival, Threads, is set to launch this week, according to a listing on Apple Inc.’s App Store.
The app, which shares similarities with Twitter, allows users to post text-based updates, engage with posts through likes, comments, and shares, and follow the same accounts they currently follow on Instagram.
Meta, the parent company of Instagram, aims to capitalize on Twitter’s recent struggles since its takeover by Musk last year. Users have grown increasingly frustrated with Twitter’s looser content moderation policies, mandatory monthly subscription fees for authentication, and reliability issues. Twitter’s temporary limitation on the number of posts users can see has further fueled the search for alternative platforms.
While existing rivals to Twitter, such as Mastodon, Bluesky, and Substack’s Notes, are still in their early stages and lack the user base to compete, Instagram has been building anticipation for Threads by involving celebrities and influencers. The pre-order option for the app on the App Store suggests a deliberate strategy to generate excitement surrounding its launch.
Described as a platform where communities can come together to discuss various topics, Threads aims to create an engaging space for users. Meta has a track record of emulating successful features from competitors, such as Snapchat’s disappearing posts (Stories) and TikTok’s short-video format (Reels). These copies have proven highly successful on Meta’s platforms, surpassing the original apps in popularity.
Meta’s existing apps, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, collectively boast a staggering daily user base of over 3 billion people, as reported in April. With the integration of Threads into the Instagram ecosystem, users will be able to use the same usernames and access their entire network of followers seamlessly.
The Threads app is listed on both the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store, with screenshots and details showcasing its functionality. However, it is not currently available for download on either Android or iOS platforms. According to TechCrunch, the app is expected to be released on July 6.
The timing of Threads’ release coincides with a significant exodus of users from Twitter due to recent limitations on viewing tweets. Musk imposed rate limits of 1,000 tweets for unverified users and 10,000 tweets for verified users. This move resulted in rate-limit errors for many users over the weekend.
The increased demand for alternative platforms also affected new registrations on Bluesky, a rival platform created by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, leading to the suspension of new sign-ups.
As Instagram’s Threads app prepares for its launch, all eyes are on whether it can provide a compelling alternative to Twitter and capitalize on the growing discontent among users. With its established user base and the integration of existing features, Threads has the potential to challenge Twitter’s dominance in the social media landscape.
Information for this story was found via Bloomberg, Business Today, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.