Update: 7:40 pm Eastern time - Threads is now live with apps for iOS and Android. You can log in with your Instagram account. You can post text messages up to 500 words and you can do similar things with them than you can with Twitter messages, including comments, likes, reposting other posts, and sharing posts. You can also upload images, and video clips of up to five minutes long.
Original story - Meta's plans to launch a new social network service have been moved up a bit. The official website for the service, Threads, now shows that the countdown clock for the launch has been moved several hours. The clock now indicates that Threads will now launch at 7 pm Eastern time tonight (4 pm Pacific time), rather than the previous time of 10 am Eastern time (7 am Pacific) on Thursday.
The service, which was previously known by code names like "Project 92" or "Barcelona", is a text-based service that will directly compete with the Elon Musk-owned Twitter. That service has been driving many users away from it thanks to some sudden decisions to limit the number of posts read per day, and also plans to make people access the Tweetbot feature with a paid Verified account.
Some Meta employees, including founder Mark Zuckerberg, have already started posting on Threads before its official launch. The service will also have a number of well-known internet influencers with their own Threads accounts for the launch. Besides the web, it will have both iOS and Android mobile apps.
In an early iOS App Store listing for the Threads app, Meta offered a summary of the service:
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.
The service will not launch in any country in the European Union tonight, however. That's due to the fact that Meta simply doesn't want to deal with the data privacy concerns that will likely be brought up by EU digital regulators.