- By James Clayton
- North America technology reporter
Facebook owner Meta is launching its new app to compete with Twitter and says it will go live on Thursday.
The app, called Threads and available for pre-order on the Apple App Store, will be linked to Instagram.
Screengrabs show a dashboard similar to Twitter. Meta describes Threads as a “text-based conversational app”.
The move is the latest in a rivalry between Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter owner Elon Musk.
Meanwhile, Twitter has said that its popular user dashboard, TweetDeck, will go behind a paywall in 30 days.
The move is the latest push by Mr Musk as he tries to get users to sign up to Twitter’s subscription service, Twitter Blue.
It appears from Meta’s Threads app that it will be a free service – and there will be no limits on how many posts a user can see.
“Threads are where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what will be trending tomorrow,” reads the App Store description.
Images show screenshots from the app, which looks almost identical to Twitter.
It’s a Meta app, and Threads will also collect data on your phone, including location data, purchases, and browsing history.
Several apps that bear a striking resemblance to Twitter have emerged in recent years – such as Donald Trump’s Truth Social and Mastodon.
Another similar app, Bluesky claimed to have seen “record” traffic following Mr Musk’s move to limit its use over the weekend.
However, threads may be the biggest threat Twitter has faced to date.
Mark Zuckerberg has a history of borrowing other companies’ ideas—and making them work.
Meta’s Reels is widely seen as a TikTok copy, while Stories is similar to Snapchat.
Meta has the resources to compete with Twitter. Threads will be part of the Instagram platform, so it will also be connected to hundreds of millions of accounts. It’s not starting from scratch, as other up-and-coming rivals have had to do.
Although Mr Musk has been praised in some quarters for his commitment to free speech, he has also alienated some users.
Mr. Zuckerberg will hope he can draw enough disaffected users away from Twitter to create a genuine alternative.