Meet Threads, Meta’s clone of Twitter rolling out across the Middle East

If you’re reading this, chances are that you’ve also seen the state of Twitter recently in the news. Even with various other alternatives popping up (Mastodon and BlueSky) , a lot of speculation arose on Meta responding with their own app. That turned out to be true, now known as Threads and it’s already rolling out worldwide including across the Middle East region.

Threads is Twitter-ish

While we do remember that Twitter started off first with 140 characters then doubling to 280 (while also supporting other media types), Instagram looks to start Threads off with a bit of nostalgic yet simpler feel:

  • Threads┬áposts can be up to 500 characters long with text, which is more generous that Twitter’s non-Blue users but still keeps it focused
  • Links (which will also generate large previews), photos, and videos (max 5 minutes in length) can also be added
  • You can ‘like’, re-post, and reply and even share; the last option even lets you share directly to Instagram Stories, helping to bring people from the main app to Threads as well.
  • Threads are shown in the main feed (with recommended content to start with), and you can like, re-post, and reply to each update. Expect to see mix of both content from users you follow and those recommended by the app.
Sign up to Threads using your existing Instagram account

For the MENA region, the listing on the respective app stores did mention the official languages being supported; sadly, Arabic is not one of them but Hindi did make the cut (which easily caters to India-based users as it’s one of the large markets for Meta).

Remember when Instagram was mobile-only since its launch (even for viewing someone’s profile)? They didn’t launch a web presence for viewing profiles until 2012. Years later, they followed up with an expanded set to see your feed in a desktop web browser. Threads already has a web presence available for users. You can even hyperlink to specific ‘threads’ on each user as well.

First impressions

Some users in the MENA region already had early access to the app itself, with creators including Ghanim Al-Muftah (Qatar) and Khalid Al Ameri (UAE). You can also view their accounts via a desktop/laptop browser, showing posts about few days before the official launch.

As a small jab to Twitter, you can view the Threads without even having an account.

Some notable creators in the MENA region had early access to Threads before the official launch.

While the app did show up early with a “pre-order” option to be installed once officially released, I managed to opt-in for that and then saw it installed straight away. After signing up using my Instagram account, it also adds a numbered badge on your profile (below your name) which identifies your numbered position when one signs up.

At the time of publishing, the app already crossed the 2M downloads milestone. Here’s hoping that the app doesn’t suddenly shutter like all the other previous apps from Meta (Boomerang/Hyperlapse, Direct, etc.)

If you’re looking for another alternative to Twitter but want to leverage your existing Instagram audience, you can download the app now from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store.

P.S: Do follow my account as well.

Image Credits: Instagram blog

Author: Yasser Masood

Think of me as a grassroots community evangelist. Juggling social media while covering technology/digital trends across the Middle East and crossroads of society and culture, while unearthing other perspectives that pique my interests.

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