It appears 9to5Google got it’s hands onto an early APK release of Meta’s Twitter competitor Threads in “Threads, Meta’s Twitter clone, starts launch countdown, plus a few details on how it works“:
Your Threads profile is also strongly connected to your Instagram profile. The two use the same username and display name, and it seems your Threads profile picture may have to be from Instagram. Additionally, anyone you block on one service is also blocked on the other.
I shouldn’t be surprised by the tight coupling to Instagram, but I am. The coupling between Facebook and Instagram has always felt forced and as if they stifle the personalities of the different platforms. Threads (as I expect it) will be heavily text-focused, while Instagram leans into photos and video. How often will cross-posting happen?
Another unique aspect of Threads that many have been anticipating is the way it can connect to federated social networks like Mastodon (collectively known as the “fediverse”). It seems that Threads may not be ready to launch its fediverse features right away.
Soon, you’ll be able to follow and interact with people on other fediverse platforms, like Mastodon. They can also find you with your full username @firstname.lastname@example.org.
The only other detail we could uncover about Threads’ integration with the fediverse is that if you choose to restrict replies on a post, it won’t be shared outside of the Threads app.
When you limit replies, your thread will not be shared with your fediverse followers.
Threads’ use of ActivityPub to connect into Mastodon and the collective Fediverse has long been a big question. In my newsletter, I compared Mastodon and the Fediverse to a network of towns, where each city has its form of government and content moderation rules. Threads’ appears to be a gated community that may allow its users to leave the gates and interact with others but still keep exclusive content limited to those within its gates.
This social experiment will be interesting, especially when a metric ton of Meta users who first interact with the larger Fediverse through Threads and branded “@email@example.com” name. I hope the other cities play nice.
Digging deeper into the code, our team has also found that Threads may indeed have a web app. At the very least, we’ve found that the service’s profile links will look quite similar to Instagram profile links, simply appending your username after the base “threads.net/” URL.
I assumed the animated website for threads hinted at more than just an app.