Meta late Wednesday debuted athat the social media giant describes as “Instagram’s text-based conversation app.”
The new service, which looks set to compete with Twitter, launched a day early in Apple’s App Store. Originally, the app had been scheduled for release on July 6.
Threads has a similar appearance to Twitter, allowing users to post messages, as well as like, reply to and repost other people’s messages. Instagram users can immediately click to follow the same accounts on Threads, which could help users quickly build large follower bases.
Meta also introduced cheat codes on Instagram to allow people to sign up for a download ahead of time, teasing the release to its billions of users.
Threads arrives at a critical moment for Twitter, whose owner Elon Musk has been making changes to the social network that haveand alienated some users. Musk’s recent decision to throttle usage for some nonpaying members, , sparked intense backlash.
On social media, some users are referring to Threads as a “Twitter killer” because of the expectation that many people will migrate away from Twitter in favor of the new social media service.
How do I get a cheat code?
The cheat codes are “Thread” or “Threads,” which you enter into the search box in Instagram.
When you do that, a red “Admit One” ticket will appear on your screen and then move to your search box. If you click on the ticket, it will take you to a website with a countdown clock (which ends on July 5 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time). There’s also a QR code.
If you scan the QR code, it will take you to the download page for the app on Apple store.
Is this Meta’s Twitter clone?
The app is billed as an Instagram service, but the service functions more like Twitter than its video- and photo-driven platform parent.
Threads is billed as a place where you can “follow and connect directly with your favorite creators and others who love the same things.”
In a screenshot of the service, it appears to have a similar interface as Twitter, enabling users to “like,” “reply” or repost other people’s messages.
Where is Threads available?
The app is available for download in Apple’s App Store and in the Google Play store.
Can I use my Instagram username?
Yes, the Threads app says you will be able to “keep your username.”
Are there privacy issues?
Meta has been dinged in the past for its privacy policies, with the FTC most recently claiming Facebookand failed to protect the privacy of children using its Messenger Kids app.
Already, some critics have pointed out that Threads may collect an awful lot of information about its members. In its App Privacy description on the Apple AppStore, Threads provides a laundry list of personal data it may collect on users, including:
- Health and fitness
- Financial information
- Browsing history
- Sensitive information
Could Threads hurt Twitter?
Some Twitter users are expressing enthusiasm about the new Meta product on social media.
Meta’s new social media app could lure consumers away from Twitter by providing a free service without the issues that are now overhanging Musk’s tech company. Since Musk, the platform has seen a and was by the advocacy group GLAAD as the worst social-media service for protecting LGBTQ+ users from harassment.
In its latest tweak, Twitter said Monday that it will require users to be verified before they can use the online dashboard TweetDeck, a service that is popular with corporations because it allows users to manage multiple accounts from one app.
The new policy takes effect in 30 days and appears to be aimed at raising extra revenue because users need to pay to have their accounts verified under Musk’s changes.
Rivalry between Musk and Zuckerberg
Musk’s rivalry with Meta Platforms could end up spilling over into real life. In an online exchange between Musk and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the two tech billionaires seemingly agreed to fight each other in a “cage match,” though it’s unclear if they will actually make it to the ring.
Zuckerberg, 39, took home gold and silver medals at hisback in May.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, 51, also trains in jiu-jitsu at a California gym, he said on Joe Rogan’s podcast in 2021.
— With reporting by CBS News’ Li Cohen and the Associated Press.