Instagram’s parent company Meta on Wednesday launched Threads, touted as a text-based management app that has the potential to compete with Twitter. You can log in with your Instagram credentials and keep your username, followers and verified status.
While the platform has apparently been active since January, the Thread implementation follows Elon Musk’s announcement to limit the number of tweets you can read on Twitter per day.
Amid all the changes on Twitter, some social media users may be looking for an alternative, like Mastodon or Bluesky. Threads offer the ability to post text, videos, and photos, as well as the ability to engage in real-time conversations.
What is Meta’s Threads?
Created by the Instagram team at Meta, Threads is a platform that allows you to post short messages or updates of up to 500 characters. You can include links, photos or videos up to 5 minutes long. The app is linked to your Instagram account and according to Meta you can “easily share your Topic post to your Instagram story or share your post as a link on any platform whatever else you choose.”
Your feed will include posts from people and accounts you follow on Instagram or Topics, as well as recommendations for undiscovered content. You also have the option to filter specific words from your feed and restrict who can mention you.
The Threads is free and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
How to use the Threads
You must have an Instagram account to join the Thread, as the platform requires you to use your Instagram credentials to log in. Once you’ve launched your account, your Instagram username will be carried over, but you can create a customisable profile, although Meta notes that users under 18 will be grants a private profile by default.
You can easily follow the same accounts you followed on Instagram with just a few clicks and transfer your followers instead of starting over on Threads. When you create a post or a “feed”, you can choose who can see it, which could be the whole world or your followers.
In terms of features, Twitter and Instagram users might be happy to know that you have the option to unfollow, report, block or restrict a profile. Access it using the three-dot drop-down menu and anyone you’ve blocked on Instagram will automatically be blocked on Threads. Other features include screen reader support and AI-generated image descriptions.
Meta says it works to make the Threads compatible and integrate with other apps that support the ActivityPub protocol, such as WordPress and Mastodon. In the future, the company would ideally want Topic posts to be available to anyone with a compatible app, whether you have a Threads account or not.
Meta vs Twitter Discussions
The rivalry between the two tech giants goes beyond the proposed cage match between Musk and Mark Zuckerberg. With Threads’ built-in connection to Instagram, it can be much easier to engage users in a short time. Although Musk changed Twitter’s limit to 10,000 posts per day for verified users, 1,000 posts per day for unverified users, and 500 for new unverified users, the move This can lead to loss of followers and advertisers. However, the new Threads platform also has its detractors.
Forrester analyst Mike Proulx says Meta is taking advantage of the current wave of discontent with Twitter and that the company has failed to launch and close previous Threads.
Proulx said in a statement to CNET: “While Meta’s steadfast strategy of testing and learning should be acknowledged, the company has had little success launching standalone external applications. its core line”.
Proulx added that the market is flooded with Twitter challengers like Bluesky, Mastodon, and Hive. “It just serves to disrupt Twitter’s alternative user base,” he said. The European Union launch of Threads has also been delayed due to a data sharing issue between the two apps.
Check out CNET’s additional coverage on social media platforms, including TikTok’s rules and Meta’s paid verification system for Instagram and Facebook.