After months of secretive work, Facebook owner Meta released Threads on Wednesday, a Twitter clone that could cause an upheaval in the world of social media. Threads was originally slated for release at 10 a.m. on July 6th, but the company moved up the launch to 7 p.m. Wednesday evening.
You can download Threads in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. When you do, you’ll find an app that looks remarkably similar to Twitter, but with a few key differences thanks to Meta’s overwhelmingly popular existing services.
Threads is built on the Instagram network. That means you’ll be able to reuse your Instagram username, and with a few taps, you can bring your network of friends and followers with you.
The app comes at a remarkably unstable time for Twitter. After more than half a year of controversy, an exodus of advertisers, and fleeing users looking for a more friendly home, Twitter managed to hit another enormous stumbling block just before Threads’ release. Over the weekend, Twitter implemented a bizarre change which temporarily limited the number of posts users were allowed to see. The company said it was a necessary move in response to bots and spam, though many critics assume it was actually the result of a technical glitch. Whatever the reason, the outage made Twitter’s already frustrated user base all the more likely to try an alternative app.
In one respect, Threads faces an uphill battle. The app isn’t available in the EU, at least not yet, due to regulatory issues that could make it difficult or impossible to launch the app in Europe. The app is currently available only in the US and the UK. Meta and Twitter did not respond to requests for comment.
In the US, however, many predict Threads will see some immediate success thanks to its built in community and a population of social media users hungry for a new place to post. It’s anybody’s game, but Mark Zuckerberg has a long history of “borrowing” ideas from other people’s apps and turning them into monstrous hits. As one of the most competitive men in business with a seemingly bottomless well of resources, Zuck is posed to give Musk a serious challenge.