Meta’s Twitter Rival Threads Could Launch Thursday

Meta and Twitter

Meta’s text-based Twitter competitor has a name and an apparent launch date.

“Say it more with Threads — Instagram’s text-based conversion app,” reads a listing posted Tuesday (July 4) on Apple’s app store.

The new app is expected to debut Thursday (July 6), and arrives days after the latest in a series of roadblocks for Twitter users: limits on how many posts users can see, with owner Elon Musk saying the move was needed to stop “extreme levels of data scraping.”

The news comes weeks after reports that Meta was testing a text-based app, piloting it with celebrities and influencers. A separate report in March by news site MoneyControl said the tech giant was working on a standalone text-based content app that will support ActivityPub, the decentralized social networking protocol powering apps like Twitter rival Mastodon.

“We’re exploring a standalone decentralized social network for sharing text updates,” Meta said in response to that report. “We believe there’s an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests.”

A report Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) notes that Mastodon, Bluesky, Truth Social and other startups have seen their user bases grow, though none has yet to establish itself as a proper Twitter competitor.

“I do think a new microblogging leader will emerge to supplant Twitter, but it is far from a foregone conclusion that the winner will be Meta,” Steve Teixeira, Mozilla chief product officer and a former Twitter and Meta executive, told the WSJ.

The report says Mozilla has criticized tech company’s approach to social media, calling the industry “broken.” Teixieria said a lack of user trust might weaken adoption for Threads.

All of this social media upheaval can be worrisome for brands that depend on social media, as PYMNTS wrote last month.

“How much longer will TikTok be vulnerable to a nationwide ban, leading to a possible shopping channel pullback?” that report said. “Or might Twitter once again suddenly forbid mention of competitors, at the risk of account banning — just to reportedly have its CEO orchestrate a full-court press to lure advertisers back?”

Nevertheless, social media remains a valuable way for brands to reach customers, as research from PYMNTS’ April “ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report” shows.

The average share of consumers taking part in social media activities was 63% as of March, and the figure has been above 60% for more than one full year.

Potential access to close to two-thirds of all U.S. consumers is an opportunity that no brand wants to pass up.

“Brands, despite concerns about navigating the turmoil of individual platforms, may not have many alternatives besides strategizing to avoid these hiccups and maximize their reach,” PYMNTS wrote.