Meta has also added a launch date teaser to the Instagram app. Typing “threads” into the search box (or a number of other keywords) causes a ticket icon to appear on the search bar. Tap it and a spinning ticket appears to show your Instagram username alongside a local launch time translated from 10AM ET on the 6th. The spinning ticket also includes a QR code that links to threads.net, seemingly the new social media platform’s web portal. Here you’ll see a countdown timer that’s also due to end on 10AM ET on the 6th.
Here is the official — and brief — description of the app, from the App Store:
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.
My colleague Alex Heath reported on a companywide meeting last month where Meta executives shared that Instagram Threads will integrate with the decentralized social media protocol used by Mastodon, called ActivityPub. That’s also the meeting where an exec said, “We’ve been hearing from creators and public figures who are interested in having a platform that is sanely run,” sparking talk of a cage match between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk.
News of the launch of Threads comes after a particularly messy few days at its main rival Twitter. Last week the Elon Musk-owned social media network blocked unregistered users from being able to see tweets, and implemented temporary rate limits for those who are logged in that could block you after reading hundreds or thousands of posts in a day. These changes lead to widespread issues over the weekend with users being unable to browse the service.
In response to the news of a launch date for Threads, Elon Musk replied to a handful of tweets that pointed out the amount of data that Meta’s App Store listing for Threads says it may collect about users. “Thank goodness they’re so sanely run,” he said in response to one tweet. “All your Threads are belong to us,” wrote former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey alongside a screenshot of Threads’ data collection notice. “Yeah” was Musk’s response. For what it’s worth, Instagram’s existing app already links the same data to you, per its app store listing.
Update July 4th, 4:07AM ET: Updated to mention the Threads teaser in the Instagram app, the Google Play Store listing, and Musk’s response.