On July 5, 2023, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, officially launched the initial version of Threads, a text-based app. Threads was built by the Instagram team, and it serves as a new, separate space for users to share text updates and join public conversations. In just one week, the app received 100 million sign-ups, and it has the potential to be a huge competitor of Twitter.
What is Threads?
Threads is a new app from the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Similar to Twitter, Threads comprises a feed of mainly text-based posts, although users can also add photos, links, and videos up to 5 minutes in length. According to Meta, messages posted to Threads will have a 500-character limit. Users can reply to, repost, and quote other users’ posts, and their accounts can be listed as either public or private. Verified Instagram accounts are automatically verified on Threads.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg says, “The vision for Threads is to create an option and friendly public space for conversation.” The platform is standalone – however, it is linked to Instagram and requires an Instagram account to sign up. Blending Instagram’s existing aesthetic and navigation structure, users can share posts from Threads directly to their Instagram Stories. Threads is available in 100 countries and supports over 30 languages via Apple’s iOS and Android.
How to Get Started With Instagram Threads
Threads is part of the Meta family of social media networks, so the sign-up process is simple. Once the Threads app is downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, it asks users to log in with their Instagram credentials or create a new account. If you manage multiple Instagram accounts, you can link each to their unique Threads account.
Next, you’ll see the Profile screen appear. You can either enter new details or import your existing Instagram bio. From there, you’ll be prompted to choose your privacy settings. With a public profile, anyone on or off Threads can see, share, and interact with your content. To restrict your content to only approved followers, opt for the private profile. Users under 16 years of age (or 18 in certain countries) will be defaulted to a private profile upon joining Threads.
Threads Vs. Twitter
While tech experts have deemed Threads a near-identical comparison to Elon Musk’s Twitter, there are several differences to note between the two platforms.
The transfer of users’ Instagram followers and the accounts they’re following to Threads gives the app at least one significant advantage over Twitter. With the size of its existing user base, Meta hopes to capture a good portion of its more than 2 billion global active Instagram users with the new app. In comparison, Twitter’s active user base is approximately 250 million.
Another major difference between Threads and Twitter is the order in which posts appear in users’ feeds. Similar to Instagram and Facebook, Threads’ timelines are purely algorithmic. On the other hand, Twitter timelines show posts in reverse chronological order with the most recent posts first. In addition, Threads is a mobile-only app that allows users to read posts on Threads.net, but they can’t create a post or interact. Twitter is accessible via desktop and the Twitter app.
As previously mentioned, posts on Threads can be up to 500 characters long, almost double Twitter’s 280-character limit. Also, Twitter has ads, and Threads does not – at least for now. In a reply post to one user, Zuckerberg mentioned that only time will tell whether or not monetization is implemented.
Can Users Delete Their Threads Account?
What’s Next for Threads?
It’s been roughly a month since the announcement of Threads joining the digital space, and this new platform is far from complete. The app is still missing many features users like about Twitter, including a desktop version, hashtags, trending topics, and direct messaging. Meta executives are working continuously to build out Threads to enhance the user experience for all. Due to its early success, we’re excited to see what the future holds for Threads and its rival app. Stay tuned!
Thoughts on Threads from Our Team
“Threads was created by Mark Zuckerberg to create a more “friendly” alternative to Twitter, and I have found that to be true thus far. In recent years, many people have become reluctant to post on Twitter, including me, while Threads feels more care-free, casual, and an overall more positive environment for social media users.”
Jamie Drogy, Social Media Strategist
“It seems like Threads is Meta’s way of creating a more casual and ‘on-the-fly’ way to connect on social media, rather than more calculated, perfected, and monetized Instagram posts. Definitely feels like we’re moving back in time to the early days of social media with this one, especially with how similar it is to Twitter itself.”
Stefanie Palmieri, Social Media Strategist
“I haven’t tried Threads yet but, to me, it seems like it was started out of ego because of all the back and forth between Elon Musk and Zuck. I think Meta should focus on improving their internal operations at Facebook and Instagram rather than trying to clone Twitter.”
Joe Sanfilippo, Director, Growth & Partnerships
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