0 → 1, shipping Threads in 5 months

In Jan 2023, we received word that we’d need to build a microblogging service to compete with Twitter in a couple of months. This is the (technical) story of the small team that was assembled to take on that challenge, and that shipped a new social network in July. The app had to scale faster than any other new product over the next week, and I’ll share what we did, and what it was like. Along the way, we took every shortcut in the book to enable the bare minimum product experience we needed, whilst maintaining Instagram’s high bar for craft and simplicity.


Zahan Malkani

Software Engineer @Meta

Zahan was trained as a physicist, but fell into making software almost by accident. In his 11 years as a software engineer at Meta, he’s worked on a range of things including the Facebook product, internet.org, dev tools, a hardware product, to Instagram and two generations of Threads apps. He loves the freedom of building something from the ground up, and good (software) design is his passion.

He’s contributed to one of the largest continuous deployment systems in the world (CD for Meta’s backend monolith), the largest Django deployment (Instagram), a widely used Mobile UI framework (React Native), the fastest scaling new app release (Threads), and just to stay grounded: many other projects that went nowhere.

He has a two-year old (whom he adores), so he doesn’t have any free time; but if he did, you’d probably find him on a road bike on one of the beautiful hills in the Bay Area; or curled up with an interesting book: non-fiction, or high fantasy.

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Monday Apr 8 / 11:45AM BST ( 50 minutes )


Fleming (3rd Fl.)


Slides are not available


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