Meta’s Twitter competitor, Threads, briefly showed up on Google Play

Alessandro Paluzzi, a developer who routinely digs into app code to expose unreleased features, tweeted early this morning that Meta’s Twitter clone, Thread, had been released into the Google Play store. It appears as though that was a mistake, however, because the app is nowhere to be found now.

Paluzzi included screenshots that showed off some of the UI elements, including the login screen, which lets users sign in with their Instagram accounts, and another screen with a list of their followed accounts from the image and video site, so they can choose who to follow on Threads. Check out the screenshots in this gallery:

It’s not surprising that Threads looks… a lot like Twitter. From the screenshots, a new post will show character counts, with a little paperclip for attaching whatever it is Threads will let you attach to posts. When viewing posts, there are familiar icons for liking, reposting, replying to, and sharing them, and user images are little circles. Instagram’s Twitter-like blue checkmarks are even there.

Threads has been in development at Meta since January under the name “Project 92.” The Verge confirmed the name and got a first real look at the app based on an internal companywide meeting where Meta chief product officer Chris Cox, while previewing Threads, said, “We’ve been hearing from creators and public figures who are interested in having a platform that is sanely run,” as opposed to Twitter.

That leak served as the catalyst to the cage match we may or may not see between Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Elon Musk. When word of Cox’s statement reached Musk, he tweeted that he was “up for a cage match” if Zuckerberg agreed. The Zuck did, and now speculation is rampant about whether or not that will actually happen.

Meta has not announced an official release date for the app, but it showing up on the Google Play store likely means a release is imminent. We’ve reached out to Meta for comment.