Meta Set To Launch Twitter Rival This Week

Meta Platforms could launch its rival offering to Twitter this week, as the rivalry between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg heats up.

The Verge reported that Meta’s Instagram Threads is expected to launch on 6 July, according to the App Store listing showing a version ready for Apple’s iPhone.

The potential arrival of a Twitter competitor from Meta comes after Elon Musk last month challenged Mark Zuckerberg to a cage fight.

Zuckerburg accepted the challenge, and whilst being physically smaller than Elon Musk, has been widely touted to win by experts, due his fitness and Jiu-Jitsu training.

Image credit: Elon Musk

Instagram Threads

Meta has been developing a Twitter rival for a good few years now.

Back in August 2019, it was reported that Facebook was developing a new app called Threads, built on top of Instagram, which was designed to help share data between close personal friends.

Then last month it was reported that Meta had shown screenshots of its planned Twitter rival to staff in an internal meeting.

Meta chief product officer Chris Cox reportedly told the meeting that there was a demand from creators and public figures for “a platform that is sanely run, that they believe that they can trust and rely upon for distribution”.

There is little doubt that Cox’s remarks refer to Twitter under controversial owner Elon Musk, who took over the platform last October.

Now the Verge has reported that Instagram Threads is due to launch on Thursday 6 July.

The Verge noted that Meta has also added a launch date teaser to the Instagram app. Apparently, typing “threads” into the search box causes a ticket icon to appear on the search bar. Tap it and a spinning ticket appears to show a person’s 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.

The Verge reported that App Store and Google Play Store listings show a similar series of screenshots of the app, showing how a person can log in with their Instagram handle, find the accounts they follow on Instagram on the new app, and post in an interface similar to Twitter, Mastodon, Bluesky, or any of the other text-focused social apps.

Dorsey, Musk response

The expected launch of Instagram Threads has prompted a reaction from both Elon Musk, and Jack Dorsey, who is backing the launch a decentralised Twitter rival called Bluesky.

Bluesky reportedly experienced record “record-high traffic” Saturday after Elon Musk said Twitter will temporarily limit the number of posts users can read per day.

Indeed BlueSky is still in an invite-only beta phase, but it had to temporarily pause sign-ups on the platform related to the spike in traffic after the Musk imposed limit.

And now both men have reacted to Meta’s potential arrival, after Jack Dorsey tweeted “All your Threads are belong to us”, alongside a screenshot of Threads’ data collection notice.

“Yeah” was Musk’s response.

And in response to the news of a launch date for Threads, Elon Musk replied to a number of tweets that pointed out the amount of data that Threads says it may collect about users.

“Thank goodness they’re so sanely run,” he said in response to one tweet.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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