Threads Has Been 8 Years in the Making, but App Was Built in Just 6 Months

Meta cooked up the Threads app in six months flat and has been toying with the “Threads” name for projects since 2015, according to a new report.

Meta had a text-based Twitter-like project underway in 2015 named “Public Threads,” but that got shelved in 2016 when the company decided to focus on mimicking Snap instead, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke to The Information.

Despite tinkering with “Threads” concepts at various points over the past eight years, it was only in late 2022 that Meta decided to pull the trigger and create a proper alternative to Twitter. Given the latter company’s public struggles as well as behind-the-scenes reports of lackluster year-over-year revenue intake, Meta saw its opportunity to strike while their opposition was weak. That’s why the Threads app launched so threadbare in terms of features and utilities; it went from idea to public release in six months flat.

Meta representatives did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment regarding the report.

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In contrast to the report’s depiction of why Threads launched in the window of time that it did, Meta has publicly stated it’s not aiming to replace Twitter. Rather, Threads is supposed to be a “less angry place for conversations,” serving as an alternative to Twitter that’s not filled with as much hard news and politically charged debate.

Even with that public declaration, the similarities between Threads and Twitter are front and center, right down to the interface and how users are expected to deliver their thoughts and interact with one another.

Time will tell if Threads manages to sustain a userbase capable of dethroning Elon Musk’s platform from its spot atop the live-reaction social media totem pole (alternatives such as Bluesky Social and Mastodon haven’t managed the feat), especially as Musk seeks to make Twitter more attractive to users and advertisers.

Not only did Musk recently enlist ad veteran Linda Yaccarino as CEO of Twitter, but he also kicked off a new creator ad-revenue sharing scheme, which just sent out its first round of payments to high-profile Twitter users. The idea with the revenue share is to compel creators to stay busy on Twitter, thereby drawing eyes to ads in their tweet reply threads — not to be confused with Threads’ threads.

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