After months of rumors, it looks like Meta’s Twitter competitor finally has a launch date. Beginning July 6, users of the internet will have the option to download the Threads app, which will try to position itself as a sane and logical alternative to Twitter’s chaos under Elon Musk.
On Monday, the Threads App was spotted in Europe’s Google Play Store. By Monday evening it appeared on Apple App Store. The app is currently listed as having a July 6 launch date, though that couldn’t be independently confirmed with Meta.
“Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow,” the description for the Threads app explains.
“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,” the Threads app description continued.
Tech news outlet Platformer was the first to report on the existence of Threads back in March, though we didn’t get many details at the time. In less than two week’s time, the Verge revealed that Threads will likely launch mid-July. And while I’d argue that July 6 should be considered early July, there’s definitely the possibility that Meta pushed the original plan to launch by a week. It would make sense given how many unforced mistakes Twitter experienced this weekend.
Elon Musk of Twitter announced that on Saturday, most users would only be able to read 600 tweets a day. This was compared by the Atlantic to Costco’s 12-item restriction. Musk revised those numbers upward over the course of Saturday, and it’s not clear what the current limit may be. This was sufficient to cause a number of Twitter’s power users to leave the site on Saturday, which caused competitor Bluesky.com to crash.
Bluesky, founded by Jack Dorsey of Twitter, had to temporarily suspend new signups to the platform last Saturday. Now, it appears that things are back to normal. Unfortunately for most people, however, Bluesky isn’t an alternative at the moment because it’s only accepting new users through a limited invitation system. And that’s where Meta must be chomping at the bit to get in the game with its competitor.
The launch of Threads will allow anyone to download it, including existing Instagram users. They will also be able use their screen names from the old app. The earliest screenshots of Threads make it look like a mash-up of Instagram and Twitter, though obviously there’s not much to go on at this point.
The Verge reported last month that celebrities were being courted to use Threads, and Meta has apparently been pitching the social media app as a “sanely run” platform.
Musk is also reportedly cozying up with far-right figures via Twitter. This has caused advertisers to be nervous. The billionaire owner even recently decided to declare that “cisgender,” a completely inoffensive term, was now a slur. Musk hired NBCUniversal’s Linda Yaccarino to become CEO in early June, but she’s been largely invisible on Twitter and hasn’t been providing updates on the latest “rate limiting” problems at the company.
To make matters even more strange, neither Yaccarino nor Musk have talked with Twitter staff internally about what’s happening with the limit on tweets, according to a new report from Insider. Twitter employees have apparently not been able to get answers for questions they asked in Slack, the company’s internal communication tool.
Twitter said on Monday, that Tweetdeck, an extremely popular feature, will be available only to subscribers starting in the next month. Obviously Musk has decided that rather than offering new features at Twitter and trying to monetize those, he’ll just put features that were previously free behind a paywall.
Meta has not responded to any questions sent Monday evening. I’ll update this article if I hear back.