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Meta’s Twitter rival Threads to launch on Thursday

As Twitter becomes evermore challenging to use following changes over the weekend limiting how many tweets a user can read in a day, as well as news on Monday that only Twitter Blue subscribers will be able to use TweetDeck, attention is now shifting to Threads, a Twitter-like app that’s expected to launch for iOS on Thursday.

The rumor mill has been turning for months about Threads, which is also expected to launch soon for Android (via Google Play). It’s not clear if it’ll be fully accessible at launch, or whether sign-ups will be limited in some way, but all will be revealed soon.

Screenshots of Meta's Threads app.
Screenshots of Meta’s Threads app. Meta

Threads is built by Meta, the owner of Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. The new app, while a standalone product, is closely linked to Instagram as it has the option to import all of your followers so that you have an active community with you from the start. Of course, a user’s communities on Twitter and Instagram are often very different, so it’s unclear how popular the option to import followers will be.

“Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow,” the App Store listing says. “Whatever it is you’re interested in, you can follow and connect directly with your favorite creators and others who love the same things — or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions, and creativity with the world.”

Meta will be hoping that Thursday’s launch capitalizes on the current woes at Twitter caused by Elon Musk’s decision to impose “temporary” reading limits for users — limits he said are needed to stop tech companies from scraping Twitter data and using it to train their AI tools.

But the change has caused problems for the functionality of Twitter’s web-based TweetDeck, which has prompted Twitter to try to push users onto a new version of the tool that it’s been working on for a while. But for unverified users of TweetDeck, there’s bad news as the company has just announced that from August 2 you’ll have to pay for its premium tier, Twitter Blue, to use TweetDeck.

With so many disruptions on Twitter since Musk acquired the social media company in October, a growing number of users have been looking for alternative apps. Mastodon and Bluesky have garnered much attention in recent months, and both have reportedly experienced a lot of extra traffic in just the past few days. But the big question now is: Can Meta make a success of Threads?

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Trevor Mogg
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