If the Very Hungry Caterpillar were a social media platform, it would be Instagram. It exploded onto the Internet scene in 2010 as a place to curate heavily saturated pictures paired with casually carefree captions; nowadays, it’s evolved into an amalgamation of every other social media app. From Stories (Instagram’s built-in version of Snapchat) to Reels (Instagram’s built-in version of TikTok), it was only a matter of time before the Very Hungry Metapillar went after its latest meal: Twitter. If you haven’t heard about Instagram’s new Threads app and how it compares to Twitter, it looks like it’s hoping to shake things up for Elon Musk.
What is Instagram’s Threads app?
Eagle-eyed App Store stalkers have discovered that Instagram is getting ready to launch a new app called Threads on July 6. The app’s official description says, “Say more with Threads — Instagram’s text-based conversation app. Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow. 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.” So… it’s basically Twitter.
Why is Meta launching Threads in the first place?
The short answer: Ever since Elon Musk bought Twitter in 2022, he’s been running it into the ground. Just this weekend, tons of Twitter users opened the app to the error message “Rate limit exceeded” because Musk decided to limit the number of Tweets users could read per day. Meta’s been working on Threads for a while, but releasing it on the heels of Musk’s latest blunder is a strategic move to turn users away from Twitter.
How do I sign up for Threads?
If you type the terms “threads,” “saymore,” “p92,” or “1992” in your IG explore page’s search bar, you might receive a digital ticket that shows when Threads will be launching in your time zone, as well as your Threads username (which is the same as your IG handle). It looks like every Instagram user has been automatically signed up for Threads, but since the platform is launching separately, you’ll only be able to access it through its app. Threads also has a web portal, threads.net, which currently displays a galaxy-themed countdown to 10 a.m. EST on July 6. The QR code on the site leads you to download the app in the App Store.
How is Threads different from Twitter?
Since Threads is associated with your Instagram account, you’ll be able to connect with everyone you currently follow on IG. When you first log in to the app, your suggested following list will be the same as your IG following list. Instead of just seeing your high school frenemy’s exotic summer vacation in photos, you’ll be able to read about it too! I’m just kidding; it’s up to you who you choose to Thread with.
Twitter is mostly used to share your thoughts with strangers, yet some Twitter users complain that it’s difficult to find interesting accounts to follow. Thread’s symbiosis with your Instagram account fixes that complaint by connecting you to your friends, influencers, and meme accounts that you already care about.
Although some of the Metaverse’s copycats have been laughed at more than they’ve been looked at (cough, cough, Reels), Threads seems determined to compete for Twitter’s crown. I’ll let the results of Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk’s boxing match decide which platform comes out on top.