It’s not uncommon for new services’ planned launches to be delayed, but rather more unusual for them to be brought forward. But Instagram’s new Threads app saw its launch countdown accelerated yesterday, meaning that the app debuted at midnight UK-time (around 4pm PST) in more than 100 countries.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of people rushed to download it: Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg revealed (on Threads, obvs) that the app passed five million signups just four hours after going live.

We’ve been giving it a try, and it looks interesting albeit with a few niggles – your home feed being full of posts from influencers who you don’t follow, for example. You’re also locked to your existing Instagram username, and it’s currently lacking direct messages, GIFs and tappable hashtags – all of which will likely be on Instagram’s roadmap. 

The Verge’s interview with Instagram boss Adam Mosseri is a useful primer on what it’s trying to achieve with Threads. “I think success will be creating a vibrant community, particularly of creators,” he said. “I do think this sort of public space is really, even more than most other types of social networks, a place where a small number of people produce most of the content that most everyone consumes. So I think it’s really about creators more than it is about average folks who I think are much more there just to be entertained…”

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