The Twitter competitor from Meta, Instagram Threads, is expected to launch on July 6th, according to the App Store listing for the app showing a version ready for Apple’s iPhone. Sleuths have also spotted what appears to be an early listing on the Google Play Store, which originally showed up over the weekend.
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 at 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.
Both App Store and Google Play Store listings show a similar series of screenshots of the app, showing how you can log in with your Instagram handle, find the accounts you 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.
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 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.
Twitter is also suddenly rolling out major changes to TweetDeck, a tool used by many journalists and social media professionals, shortly after the app began to break, supposedly under the strain of scrapers trawling for data to feed AI models. And in about a month, TweetDeck is scheduled to become a paid feature. Many Twitter users tried to turn to Bluesky over the holiday weekend, but that service halted new user signups for more than a day to fix issues it ran into because of the waves of people flooding the app. The CEO of Mastodon says he is feeling good, though.
In response to the news of a launch date for Threads, 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.