Home » Mobile » Threads launch on Android and iOS Twitter’s Rival

Threads launch on Android and iOS Twitter’s Rival

Threads launched

Threads is now available on iOS and Android in 100 countries, excluding the EU due to concerns about local data privacy regulations. Users can log in with their Instagram credentials and their username and verification status will transfer.

Additionally, users can customize their Threads profiles independently. MoneyControl first reported the app’s existence in March, which Platformer later confirmed.

Meta previewed the app to employees at a company-wide meeting in June. Further leaks revealed more details about the app’s target customers – high-profile celebrities, influencers, and artists – and its planned features.

Jack Dorsey-backed Twitter rival Bluesky has been gaining traction over the past few months due to its decentralized protocol, the AT Protocol. Soon, Instagram’s new app, Threads, will join the bandwagon and offer support for ActivityPub, the same social networking protocol used by open-source Twitter rival Mastodon and other federated apps. This will help Threads expand its reach, as Mastodon’s ecosystem currently consists of 1.7 million active users.

If that happens, you could take your network of friends with you.” Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, said before launch that they are committed to building support for ActivityPub, the protocol behind Mastodon, into Threads. However, due to the complexities of a decentralized network, they were not able to finish it in time for launch. He further explained that this is important because if users ever leave Threads or get de-platformed, they can take their network of friends with them.

Threads visuals
Image Credit: Threads

If that ever happens, you can take your audience to another server by enabling openness. This choice puts Threads in competition with other Mastodon clients, such as Ivory and the Mozilla-funded Mammoth, as well as Flipboard, Medium, and Automattic (owner of WordPress.com) who have all invested in the Mastodon ecosystem due to the Twitter exodus.

Concerns arise, however, that Meta will employ an “embrace, extend and extinguish” strategy in order to gain a monopoly on the open decentralized social web market, similar to Google’s takeover of web-based email.

Note that Meta has not been successful in creating successful stand-alone apps.

The company has shut down numerous stand-alone apps, such as Hello, Moves, Paper, Poke, Camera, Home, Slingshot, Rooms, Riff, Bolt, Lifestage, Groups, Stickered, Moments, Notify, Bonfire, Lasso, Novi, Boomerang, Hyperlapse, Direct, IGTV, and Threads from Instagram, as well as all its experiments from its internal incubator, NPE team, including BARS, E.gg, Forecast, Collab, Kit, Hobbi, Tuned, and more, over the years.

The integration of Instagram’s new app gives it a jump-start in terms of sign-ups, as the company previously mentioned in leaked marketing materials. With just one tap, people can follow the same accounts they follow on Instagram. Furthermore, the app’s integration with Instagram also allows users to transfer their block lists from Instagram.

The same Community Guidelines that apply to Instagram govern TikTok, which makes it simpler for users to grasp what is allowed and not. Additionally, users can choose which audiences can respond to their posts.

Instagram is experimenting with new ways for users to connect beyond Reels, Stories, and Feeds. These include “broadcast channels” launched in February 2023, giving creators a direct way to connect with followers via text, images, polls, reactions, GIFs, and more in their Instagram inboxes. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, has been using this feature to share product news.

thread design and picture gallery visuals
Image Credit: Threads

”Alessandro Paluzzi, a leaker, and other developers and reverse engineers had been examining Instagram’s code in anticipation of the new app’s release. They found that the app would support 500 characters – less than Twitter’s 10,000 for paid subscribers, but more than its 280 characters for non-paying users. Paluzzi also uncovered that Meta was referring to the app as “an Instagram for your thoughts.”

Social media consultant Matt Navarra reported in mid-May that Meta was recruiting early adopters to test a pre-release version of its text-based app that focuses on famous influencers and celebrities such as actors, producers, writers, directors, showrunners, athletes, and comedians. The app is set to launch in the summer of 2023 and will be integrated with Instagram.

Instagram will maintain users’ existing handles, roll over their verification status, and their followers will remain the same.

Privacy Issues on Threads

Users raised privacy concerns about Threads, which likely contributed to the app’s demise.

Threads lacks many of the features found on other major social platforms like TikTok and Twitter, or Meta’s own Instagram and Facebook. However, with many apps vying to be the “next Twitter” (if this is even feasible), users have the power to select a platform with more reliable privacy practices. Additionally, Threads provide an advantage since users’ Instagram networks are already integrated.

Meta has reportedly postponed Threads’ launch in the EU due to legal uncertainty around data use under the Digital Markets Act, which passed in March. This decision reflects ongoing privacy concerns among Meta’s family of apps and is likely motivated by the May fine of $1.3 billion the company faced for exporting European Union user data to the U.S. for processing.

This Twitter clone, called Threads, will give European users one more option to choose from. Those who already have access to Threads can now decide if they want Meta’s family of apps to take up more of their time. This app is expected to launch sometime this summer.