Meta launches Twitter-like app – Threads

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Meta launches Twitter-like app – Threads

Meta’s brand-new conversation app has arrived.

Pitched as “a new way to share with text”[1], Mark Zuckerberg and Adam Mosseri’s Threads burst onto the social scene as a competitor to Elon Musk’s Twitter last Thursday, allowing Instagrammers to use their existing username and swiftly import their follow-list from the image-sharing platform.


After heavy criticism of Twitter’s trajectory since Musk’s takeover in October 2022, the rumours of Meta launching a rival app culminated on 3rd July when their new venture was spotted on the app store. Meta founder and CEO Zuckerberg kept social butterflies waiting for as long as possible, though, holding off on the official announcement until last Wednesday… Less than 24 hours before Thread’s launch.


While Threads was built by the team behind Instagram primarily for text updates and public conversation posts up to 500 characters long, it also includes an option to share links, photos and even videos up to 5 minutes in length (doubling Twitter’s video allowance of 2 minutes 20 seconds). There’s no denying Threads has a somewhat familiar interface and aesthetic, however its promise of an “existing suite of safety and user controls”[2] and a strong sense of community has people looking for a Twitter alternative flocking to it – garnering over 100 million sign-ups in just 5 days.


What, exactly, is Threads?


“Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow,”[3] the app description says, with Meta’s official announcement stating, “Whether you’re a creator or a casual poster, Threads offers a new, separate space for real-time updates and public conversations.”[4]


How can I get started with Threads?


For Instagram users, getting started is easy. Simply head to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store to download the Threads app, then sign in using your Instagram log-in details.


Many Instagram users have reported they were encouraged to launch the threads app via the image-sharing platform when they first logged in last Thursday, being taken to the app store automatically for download and quick sign-in.


Once you’re in, you can choose whether you’d like a private or public profile (automatically set to private for those under 16 in the UK, or 18 in many other countries) and you’ll also be given the option to import your follow-list from Instagram.


NOTE – if you don’t use the ‘import’ feature during set-up, you won’t be able to go back!


How do I use Threads?



[3] Google Play Store – Threads App – About



Your Threads feed (or homepage) will include threads from people you follow, threads that people you follow have commented on, and recommended content from people you’re yet to discover. To interact with others’ posts, you can like, comment, repost or share to your Instagram story/feed (similar to Twitter). To start your own thread or post, simply click the ‘New Thread’ button on the menu bar at the bottom of the app (the centre icon that looks like a pen and paper).


The app’s menu bar features (from left to right): Homepage, Search, Post, Activity (including notifications), and My Page (where you can also access the app’s settings, similar to Instagram).


Can I search using hashtags?


So far, Threads doesn’t support the use of hashtags. The ‘Search’ option from the menu bar only allows Threaders (?) to search for other users, so searching for specific topics is currently absent (although Instagram CEO and Threads boss Adam Mosseri has suggested this is on the added features list in later updates).


The lack of hashtags has divided users, with many saying they don’t miss them, while others have said it makes searching for specific topics impossible. How Meta navigates this is yet to be seen.


Can I use multiple accounts?


Yes, however, the process is far from simple. While Instagram has long featured a seamless drop-down menu of profiles to easily switch between, Threads currently offers no such option. So, while users can have multiple profiles based on each Instagram account (such as a personal and business page, for professional users), you will have to sign out of Threads, load Instagram, change profiles there, and sign back into Threads using the one-click threads-tag on your IG profile.


Can I hide certain words, similar to Instagram


Yes! Meta are committed to protecting their users and promoting positive conversations that put control in the hands of the user – so much so, they’ve invested more than $16B on teams and technologies specifically for security and an advanced User Experience.


“You can control who can mention you or reply to you within Threads,”, Meta said, in their official Threads launch announcement. “Like on Instagram, you can add hidden words to filter out replies to your threads that contain specific words. You can unfollow, block, restrict or report a profile on Threads by tapping the three-dot menu, and any accounts you’ve blocked on Instagram will automatically be blocked on Threads.”[1]


Meta’s Threads is now available to download for free from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store in over 100 countries.


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