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Instagram working on an API for Threads

Instagram boss Adam Mosseri said in a reply on Threads last night that his team is working on an API for Threads, despite concern that it would help publishers push content more than it would creators. TechCrunch spotted his reply in a thread in which Platformer’s Casey Newton told another user the lack of a developer API is why Threads has no TweetDeck equivalent.

If the API is robust enough, it could open the platform up to new ideas, expressed through third-party apps and web experiences, about how to actually interact with Threads or view its content. It could also add features that Threads is missing right now, like lists or the ability to follow specific topics.

Big social platforms like X, formerly Twitter, and Reddit have made changes to their API policies that third-party developers have found hostile, forcing apps to shut down or decouple from the platforms. Some have moved on to make clients for other platforms — for instance, the makers of Tweetbot created Ivory for Mastodon. But Threads, with its nearly 100 million monthly active users, is a particularly green pasture compared to Mastodon, Bluesky, and all the other X alternatives that have come along recently.

Besides whether and how Threads might introduce an API, it’s an open question whether and how the platform will tackle integration with the open social media protocol ActivityPub. Mosseri has openly committed to tying Threads to the open social media protocol. It’s even made a small step in that direction, making it possible to verify your Threads profile in the so-called fediverse. If it really starts supporting ActivityPub, you could start seeing Threads posts in a fediverse feed that also includes posts from Mastodon, Reddit alternative Lemmy, and any other platform that runs on the protocol.

We’ve reached out to Meta to find out if it has anything more to say about the possibilities for an API, and we’ll update here if we receive a response.

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