What is Instagram’s Threads app? All your questions answered

In the last few months, Twitter alternatives — new and old — have found an audience willing to try out a new text-based social network. Mastodon, Bluesky, Spill and T2 are some of the social media platforms people are trying out. Now, Meta has stepped into the game with a big launch tied to Instagram.

What is Threads? How do you create an account?

Threads is Meta’s text-based Twitter rival. It is tied to your Instagram account, so you can create an account by logging in using your Instagram credentials.

How is it different from Twitter?

Currently, there are no paid tiers and ads on the app. However, your verification mark from Instagram is carried over — even if you have paid for Meta Verified. Users can take advantage of their Instagram network to find people to follow.

The app has just launched, but it doesn’t have Twitter-like features such as long video, direct messages and live audio rooms.

How do you use Threads?

The platform is currently available on iOS and Android in more than 100 countries. However, due to privacy concerns, the app is not currently available in the EU. Because you are logging in through your Instagram account, you will be able to follow all folks that you follow. You will also import your username, name and settings like block list.

How many users does this thing have?

Within hours of launch, Threads has crossed the mark of 10 million signups and it passed 30 million signups within 24 hours. Threads reached 100 million users within just five days of launch.

Mark Zuckerberg noted on the first day that the app attracted 2 million signups in two hours, 5 million signups in four hours and 10 million registered users in seven hours. The next morning, the CEO of Meta noted that more than 30 million people had signed up to try the new app. Threads’ growth is noteworthy given that it hasn’t even launched in the EU yet because of privacy reasons.

What are the limitations of posting on Threads?

Users can post 500 characters in one post on the app. The post supports images, videos and GIFs. A Thread post supports up to 10 media items.

Can you use Threads on the web?

You can view Thread posts and profiles on the web through a link. However, you can’t log in through your own account and make posts.

How do you delete your Threads account?

You can deactivate your Threads account, but to delete the account completely, you must delete your Instagram account, according to Meta’s “Supplemental Privacy Policy.” After users complained about this, Mosseri said that the company is “looking into a way to delete your Threads account separately.”

Does Threads have a “Following” timeline?

At the moment, Threads doesn’t have any timeline that shows posts only from accounts that you follow. The home timeline is algorithmic and it is a mix of posts from accounts you follow and other folks.

“We do rank posts lightly and show recommendations (posts from accounts you don’t follow) in the feed, which is particularly important for a new app before people follow enough accounts,” Instagram head Adam Mosseri said in a reply to a user.

Image Credits: Screenshot/TechCrunch

Can you DM people on Threads?

You can’t send a message to users on the app. Mosseri said that the goal is to “not build yet another inbox and instead let people send threads to other apps.”

Is Threads part of the fediverse?

At launch, Meta’s new app doesn’t support the feature of a decentralized social network. That means you can’t migrate in or out of the server. However, Mosseri said that ActivityPub support is coming.

“We’re committed to building support for ActivityPub, the protocol behind Mastodon, into this app. We weren’t able to finish it for launch given a number of complications that come along with a decentralized network, but it’s coming,” he said.

“If you’re wondering why this matters, here’s a reason: you may one day end up leaving Threads, or, hopefully not, end up de-platformed. If that ever happens, you should be able to take your audience with you to another server. Being open can enable that.”

What are some features that are currently missing from Threads?

  • A “Following” feed
  • Support for GIFs
  • Full web version support
  • Editing posts
  • Inline translation
  • Support for user-generated Alt image text
  • Hashtags
  • A way to see your own liked posts

What are Threads data collection practices?

Because you are using an Instagram account to log in to Threads, Meta says that “it is part of your Instagram account.” Users have already raised questions about the app’s data collection, given the privacy labels mentioned in the App Store.

In answer to queries about the app’s privacy labels on the App Store, Meta’s deputy chief privacy officer Rob Sherman said that these labels are similar to the company’s other apps.

“The labels are similar to the rest of our apps, including Instagram, in that our social apps receive whatever info (including the categories of data listed in the App Store) you share in the app,” he said in a Threads post.

If you have more FAQs about Threads not covered here, leave us a comment below. 

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