Meta chief executive office Mark Zuckerberg has officially rolled out the "initial version" of Threads, an app built by Meta's Instagram team for sharing text and that aims to outrival Twitter. "Threads is here. Let's do this," the Meta chief said in his latest post.
The latest text-based platform from the Zuckerberg-led company comes amid several reports of users being unhappy with the latest "radical" changes that have been incorporated in Twitter since Tesla chief executive Elon Musk took over the company last October.
Like Twitter, Threads also allows long-form text and users can post up to 500 characters. It also has many similar features like Twitter, including follow, like, replies, and reposts.
Threads is currently available for download across 100 countries, including the UK. However, the social platform has not been launched in Europe due to regulatory reasons.
"Your feed on Threads includes threads posted by people you follow, and recommended content from new creators you haven’t discovered yet. Posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes in length. You can easily share a Threads post to your Instagram story, or share your post as a link on any other platform you choose," the company said in a blog post on Instagram.
In his first reaction to the Threads' launch, Elon Musk, meanwhile, has said: "It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram".
The company says with Threads, it aims to take what Instagram does best and expand that to text, creating a positive and creative space to express ideas. "Just like on Instagram, with Threads, you can follow and connect with friends and creators who share your interests – including the people you follow on Instagram and beyond. And you can use our existing suite of safety and user controls."
Though Threads is a separate app, the company is allowing users to log in on it via their Instagram account. "Your Instagram username and verification will carry over, with the option to customize your profile specifically for Threads."
The company says everyone, who is under 16 (or under 18 in certain countries), will be defaulted into a "private profile" when they join Threads. Users will also be able to follow the same accounts they do on Instagram.
In terms of safety, the company says it'll enforce Instagram’s Community Guidelines on content and interactions in the app. Meta says Threads will soon be compatible with ActivityPub, the open social networking protocol established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the body responsible for the open standards that power the modern web.
This will make Threads interoperable with other apps that also support the ActivityPub protocol, such as Mastodon and WordPress, thus "allowing new types of connections that are simply not possible on most social apps today".