Threads: What You Need To Know About Instagram's New App

Dayana Sabatin
InstagramPhoto byClaudio SchwarzonUnsplash

Mark Zuckerberg's highly anticipated competitor to Twitter, Threads, has finally launched. The app is a companion to Instagram, the renowned photo-sharing platform which was acquired by Zuckerberg's Meta over ten years ago. Threads is expected to challenge Twitter's dominance, earning the moniker of a "Twitter killer" among tech enthusiasts.

This launch intensifies the rivalry between Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter last year. Musk has been making significant changes to Twitter, such as altering its algorithm and imposing temporary limits on users' tweet consumption, which has sparked outrage amongst many individuals.

Numerous tech companies have sought to capitalize on Twitter's recent tumultuous period, but Threads has an advantage. Supported by Meta's substantial resources and Instagram's colossal user base of over two billion monthly active users worldwide, Threads is entering the competition on a strong footing.

In a post on his Threads account, Zuckerberg expressed his vision for a public conversations app with over one billion users, highlighting Twitter's missed opportunity. He hopes that Threads will fulfill this need.

Here's what you need to know about Threads:

Developed by Instagram, Threads enables real-time, public conversations between users. The app also benefits Instagram, a prominent product within Meta's portfolio.

Threads is closely integrated with Instagram. Currently, users must have an Instagram account to sign up for the app, and their Instagram handle doubles as their Threads username. Users can import their Instagram followers' list if desired. Instagram's verified users will retain their verification status on Threads. Users can choose to make their Threads account private or public.

Threads closely resembles Twitter in many ways. Users can post text-based messages on a scrolling feed, where followers can reply. Additionally, users can share photos and videos on the app.

However, Threads diverges from Twitter by not offering direct messaging functionality. Instagram may consider adding features based on user feedback.

In recent years, Instagram has made a deliberate effort to streamline its app. To avoid cluttering the existing app, Threads was spun off into a separate entity, allowing Instagram to focus on making public conversations work effectively.

Mr. Mosseri, head of Instagram, explained that the decision to create a new app was irresistible, given the evolving social media landscape. He cited the ownership changes and product decisions made by Mr. Musk and others that led to the opportunity to challenge Twitter.

Instagram initiated its pursuit of a Twitter rival late last year, with numerous engineers, product managers, and designers brainstorming ideas. These discussions included expanding a feature called Instagram Notes, which enables users to share short messages, and developing a text-focused app utilizing Instagram's technology.

Ultimately, after careful consideration, Mosseri and other managers made a strategic decision to build Threads as a bet in this space.

Are you planning on joining this app? Why or why not? Let me know.

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