Mysterious 2 A.M. Countdown Appears on Taylor Swift’s Instagram After ‘Tortured Poets’ Release

Taylor Swift just released her new album The Tortured Poets Department — but from the looks of a mysterious new countdown hidden on her Instagram profile, the fun is far from over.

As soon as the pop star’s 16-track project dropped at midnight on Friday (April 19), Swift made her very first post on Threads, Instagram’s text-only counterpart which launched last year. At the same time, a mysterious two-hour countdown went live on her Instagram page, potentially ticking down to a new announcement or surprise coming at 2 a.m. ET.

The new countdown is sure to pique the interests of Swifties, who have noticed that the musician has seemingly been teasing the number 2 for weeks. Her Tortured Poets Spotify library installation in Los Angeles featured a peace-sign statuette, and Swift herself flashed two fingers on camera at the 2024 Grammys when she first announced her new record. The clocks at the library pop-up and in her cryptic “Fortnight” music video announcement from earlier this week have all been set to 2 o’clock, and the star tweeted Wednesday, “✌️days til THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT.”

Only time will tell what 2 a.m brings — but in the meantime, Instagram and Threads have several other new features for Swifties to enjoy. Fans can now change their direct messaging backgrounds to visuals inspired by the Tortured Poets album artwork; plus, Threads users who share the singer’s first post will receive a custom “TTPD” badge on their profile, distinguishing them as bona fide Swifties.

In the week leading up to Tortured Poets release day, Instagram launched its original secret countdown, which was only visible when fans pulled down on Swift’s profile to “refresh.” The countdown also prompted viewers to follow the 14-time Grammy winner on Threads.

As this was going on, conversations on Threads tagged #TTPD, #The Tortured Poets Department, #Tortured Poets, #TSTTPD, #Swifties or #Taylor Swift prompted a special shimmer effect to appear, while celebratory hearts appeared onscreen for those who “liked” a post stamped with any of the same tags.

Complete with 16 tracks, four bonus songs spread out across various deluxe versions and collaborations with Post Malone and Florence + The Machine, The Tortured Poets Department was one of the most anticipated releases of 2024. Swift took a break from her global Eras Tour to prepare for the album’s release but will resume the trek in May.

“It kind of reminded me of why songwriting is something that actually gets me through my life,” she said of the project at a February Eras show. “I’ve never had an album where I needed songwriting more than I needed it on Tortured Poets.”

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