Meta officially launches Instagram Threads—so will it be a ‘Twitter killer’?

World News

Meta’s Threads app, which shares a similar format with Twitter and is widely seen as Elon Musk’s most significant competition since the billionaire took over the social media platform, was launched Wednesday evening in a surprise announcement.
Key Takeaways
  • Threads, which is now live on Apple’s App Store, will be linked to users’ Instagram accounts and offer a real-time platform, like Twitter’s, that allows text posts of up to 500 characters.
  • The app will also support photos and videos that can be up to five minutes long, according to Instagram.
  • Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, said in an interview with The Verge that Twitter’s “volatility” and “unpredictability” under Musk is what gave Meta the opportunity to compete with Twitter, which has been plagued by outages and unpopular limits to the number of tweets users can view in a single day.
  • Threads is available on iOS and Android in more than 100 countries with the exception of the European Union, which has regulatory concerns about the app.
  • Users will have Threads profiles that can be customized independently from that of their Instagram accounts—they will also be able to auto-follow the same users they follow on Instagram.
Key Background

Meta’s move to create a more direct competitor to Twitter comes amid rocky times for Musk-led Twitter. Recently, the platform implemented a “temporary” limit to the number of posts Twitter users can see on a daily basis, prompting backlash from users. New, unverified accounts were initially hit with a viewing restriction of 300 posts per day while older unverified accounts were limited to 600. Verified accounts, which costs $8 per month to operate, were limited to reading 6,000 posts a day.

Twitter has also dealt with major outages, hundreds of layoffs and a diminishing valuation since Musk took over in October. Several competitors attracted attention as complaints around Twitter grew, like Mastodon and more recently Bluesky Social. But Threads—integrated with Instagram and backed by a company with a $756 billion market cap—is expected to be a far more significant threat to Twitter than similar text-focused social media platforms.

Speculation around Meta’s new platform had floated around for months. In March, a report from MoneyControl said a Twitter competitor codenamed “P92” was being developed by Meta.

How do I join Instagram Threads?

It’s easy to get started with Threads: simply use your Instagram account to log in. Your Instagram username and verification will carry over, with the option to customize your profile specifically for Threads.

Everyone who is under 16 (or under 18 in certain countries) will be defaulted into a private profile when they join Threads. You can choose to follow the same accounts you do on Instagram, and find more people who care about the same things you do. The core accessibility features available on Instagram today, such as screen reader support and AI-generated image descriptions, are also enabled on Threads.

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.

Forbes’ Valuation

We estimate Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to be worth $104.4 billion, making him the seventh richest person in the world behind Musk’s No. 1 ranking—a spot secured by his estimated $251.1 billion net worth.

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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