Instagram head Adam Mosseri said today that a Threads API is in the works. This will give developers the ability to create different applications and experiences around Threads.
Mosseri was responding to reporter Casey Newton, who was chatting with a user about a TweetDeck-like experience for Threads. The head of Instagram expressed apprehension that publishers would post a lot of content and in turn overshadow content from creators.
“We are working on it. What worries me is that this will mean a lot more content for publishers and not a lot more content for creators, but it still seems like something we need to do,” Mosseri said in a post.
Threads has taken a stance on news content, saying it is not “anti-news” but will “not actively amplify news.” Historically, news publications have relied on third-party tools and integrations with different social networks to automatically post to platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Due to the lack of API availability on newer platforms like Threads, publishers must manually publish content, which is not ideal for news organizations publishing a large number of articles per day.
While Mosseri worries that publishers are offering an overwhelming amount of content through API integration, creators also need different tools to publish different content formats. It is easier for developers to create platform-specific features if there is API integration.
With social networks like Twitter (now X) and Reddit making it difficult for third-party developers to build clients, Threads can open up its API for a healthy app ecosystem. Developers have created clients for rival networks such as Bluesky and Mastodon. However, both networks have comparatively smaller user bases than Threads.
Earlier this week, Meta said that Threads had just under 100 million monthly active users. An API and third-party app ecosystem won’t necessarily move that number forward, but it will allow users to explore the network in alternative ways. The Threads teams have delivered many features over the past few months following launch. However, if there is an ecosystem of third-party applications, developers can use various ship features that users are looking for.
Additionally, Meta and Mosseri talked about integrating Threads into the Fedisverse. An open ecosystem with a well-maintained API would therefore be a good step towards this goal.