Threads by META – all you need to know!
What is Threads?
Threads is a fresh social networking application owned by Meta Platforms, headed by Mark Zuckerberg. It is closely integrated with Instagram and is accessible only on iOS and Android devices. Meta refers to Threads as “Instagram’s text-based conversation app.”
Threads allow users to share updates, text, images, and videos, and engage with other users’ posts through likes, reposts, and replies. On the app store, Threads is described as a platform where communities gather to discuss various topics of interest, from current interests to upcoming trends. Users can follow and connect with favorite creators and like-minded individuals or build their own following to share ideas, opinions, and creativity with the world.
While Threads is similar to Twitter, Zuckerberg emphasizes the focus on “kindness” and a “friendly” environment as key differentiators. In a post on his Threads account, he expressed, “Our goal is to maintain a friendly atmosphere as it expands. I believe it’s possible and will be the key to its success.” “That’s one reason why Twitter never achieved the level of success it should have, and we aim to approach it differently.” “We are certainly prioritizing kindness and striving to make this a friendly space.”
It’s important to note that Threads is deeply integrated with Instagram to the extent that users cannot sign up for Threads without an Instagram account.
How many people have joined Threads? Since its launch, over 100 million individuals have signed up for Threads. Zuckerberg shared this achievement on his own Threads account:
“Threads reached 100 million sign-ups over the weekend.” “This demand is primarily organic, and we haven’t even utilized many promotions yet.” “Can’t believe it’s only been five days!”
To provide context, when Instagram launched as an independent platform in 2010, it took a week to reach just 100,000 users.
Which brands have signed up for Threads so far?
According to the National Retail Federation, nine out of the top ten retailers, including Walmart and Kroger, have activated their accounts on Threads. The only exception so far is Costco.
Only Reese’s has activated its account among the top five major consumer brands. Similarly, only Nike has joined among the top ten popular fashion brands. This cautious approach from advertisers suggests they want to observe the development of Threads before making commitments.
However, some prominent names have swiftly signed up and already have active accounts, such as Calvin Klein, Kith, Allbirds, Shein, and Uniqlo.
Which celebrities have joined Threads?
Several notable celebrities have joined Threads, including Oprah, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Shakira, and Sarah Jessica Parker.
Sarah Jessica Parker, renowned for her role in Sex and the City, announced her Threads membership on her Instagram account.
She expressed: “I am excited about the possibility that @threadsapp offers to continue sharing book titles, images of my day in NYC and elsewhere, support for our libraries, a perfectly cooked thin cut pork chop on the bone, or anything else I believe is deserving of your time.” “I hope that @threadsapp can become a platform where people are kind, thoughtful, and don’t feel encouraged to be mean, aggressive, or hostile… this could be a new day.”
Will Threads include advertisements?
Currently, marketers cannot purchase ad space on Threads. However, Axios reports that the Instagram team is working on making branded content tools available in the near future, with ads expected to be introduced once Threads reaches a critical mass. In the meantime, marketers are advised to disclose paid partnerships using hashtags or text clearly.
It’s worth noting that Meta’s other brands, like Instagram, launched without ads initially. Now, advertising is one of Instagram’s primary sources of revenue.
How will Threads track its users?
Threads will gather vast user information, similar to how Meta’s other platforms, Facebook and Instagram, do. It stores various details that users provide, including sensitive information such as:
- Health and fitness data
- Financial details
- Location information
- Browsing and search history
- Home address
- Email address
- Phone number
- Camera access
- IP information
- Device type
- Device signals (Bluetooth signals, nearby Wi-Fi access points, and cell towers)
Additionally, Threads tracks how users interact with posts and who they follow. Threads’ detailed level of user information stored has raised concerns among EU officials regarding data privacy.
Is Threads safe?
Threads enforces Instagram’s Community Guidelines for content and interactions. Users must be at least 13 years old, and those under 16 (or 18 in certain countries) automatically receive a private account by default. However, parents are advised to monitor their children’s online activities.
Users can filter their settings, allowing them to control who can reply to their texts. They can also block unwanted accounts, and any accounts they have blocked on Instagram will be automatically blocked on Threads as well.
Meta has invested over $16 billion in protecting users of its platforms since 2016 and emphasizes that safety remains a top priority for Threads.
What can you search for on Threads? Unlike Twitter, Threads currently does not allow searching for hashtags or topics. Currently, users can only use the search tool to find other users, both those they already follow and those they don’t.
When Threads presents profiles in search results of users not yet followed, users can instantly choose to follow them or view their full profile.
Why is an Instagram account required to join Threads?
Meta announced that Threads would be linked to users’ Instagram accounts. They explained the reasoning behind this decision: “Our vision with Threads is to leverage what Instagram does best and expand it to text, creating a positive and creative space for expressing ideas.” “Just like on Instagram, with Threads, you can follow and connect with friends and creators who share your interests, including those you follow on Instagram and beyond.” “The benefits of open social networking protocols extend beyond the ability to follow each other. Developers can build new features and user experiences seamlessly integrating with other open social networks, accelerating innovation and experimentation.
Each compatible app can establish its own community standards and content moderation policies, allowing people to choose spaces aligned with their values.” “We believe this decentralized approach, similar to the protocols governing email and the web itself, will play a crucial role in the future of online platforms.” “Threads is Meta’s first app designed to be compatible with an open social networking protocol. By joining this rapidly growing ecosystem of interoperable services, we hope Threads will help people find their community, regardless of their app.”
How can you change your username on Threads?
Since your Threads profile is connected to your Instagram account, certain details, including your name and username, are synchronized. To change your username on Threads, follow these steps:
- Tap the profile icon in the bottom right-hand corner to access your profile.
- Select the “Edit Profile” button located below your bio.
- Enter a new username in the Username field.
- Once you’ve entered the new username, tap the checkmark in the top right-hand corner to save your new settings.
Are there any posting limitations on Threads?
Threads imposes certain limitations on posts and videos:
Users can share posts with a maximum of 500 characters, including links, photos, and videos.
Videos must not exceed five minutes in length.
How does Threads work?
Threads is a straightforward app that operates similarly to Twitter. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get started:
- Ensure that you have an Instagram account. If you don’t have one, you must sign up for Instagram first.
- Download the Threads app and log in using your Instagram credentials.
Once logged in, the app will prompt you to follow the same accounts you follow on Instagram. The app will then suggest other profiles to follow based on your interests. Start using the app. Your feed will display a combination of posts from people you follow and recommended content. Engage with posts by liking, replying, reposting, or quoting them.
Like Twitter, you can also share your posts, videos, and pictures on your profile.
How do you delete your Threads account? To deactivate your account, go to the profile tab, access the settings menu in the top right-hand corner, and select the “Account” option. You will then be asked if you want to deactivate your profile.
After deactivation, your previous posts and interactions will no longer be visible on Threads. Deactivating your profile does not affect the data collected by the platform or your linked Instagram account.
If you deactivate your Instagram account, your Threads account will also be deactivated. Reactivating your profile is as simple as logging back into the app. If you wish to delete your account instead of temporarily deactivating it permanently, you must delete your Instagram account.
Is Threads replacing Twitter?
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes Threads will surpass Twitter in size, but it will take time. ‘’I believe there should be a public conversations app with over 1 billion users. Twitter had the opportunity but didn’t quite achieve it. Hopefully, we will.”
Since its launch, Threads has indeed been successful. During its initial two days, Twitter traffic declined by 5% compared to the same period a week earlier. It was also 11% lower than the same period the previous year, as reported by the web analytics company SimilarWeb.
I guess time will tell whether Twitter as we know it will be able to coexist with Threads or if Threads will wipe the floor with Twitter. My guess is – it’ll most likely be the latter.