What is Instagram Threads and How it works?

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Siddharth Dwivedi May 17, 2024

You might have heard that Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have challenged each other to a fight. Now, it seems they actually have a reason to fight.

Mark Zuckerberg’s company, Meta (previously known as Facebook, Inc.), has launched a social networking app called Threads. This app is quite similar to Twitter, which is currently owned by Elon Musk, who is also a billionaire. So, what exactly is Instagram Threads? Let me explain everything you need to know about it.

What is Threads?

Threads is a recently introduced app (in a way) by Meta, the company behind Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The Instagram team has developed and created this app, which is described as a platform for sharing text updates and participating in public conversations.

Does that ring a bell? If you’re thinking it sounds a lot like Twitter, you’re correct. Meta seems to have noticed an opportunity for a microblogging social network that avoids some of the problems Twitter is facing. Interestingly, a previous app called Threads was announced in 2021, but we haven’t heard much about it since. Now, it seems like the app has undergone some changes and is being relaunched with a fresh look.

What features do Threads provide?

The Threads app enables you to share messages that can be up to 500 characters long. This is a significant increase compared to Twitter’s 280 characters (unless you have Twitter Blue) and the same as Mastodon’s default limit of 500 characters. In addition to text, you can also include photos, videos up to five minutes in length, and web links in your posts.

How does Threads function?

After downloading the app, you can log in using your current Instagram account. Your username will be transferred to your Threads account, along with any verification you have. Additionally, you have the option to personalize your profile specifically for your Threads account.

Once you’re in, you have the option to automatically follow the same accounts you already follow on Instagram. You can also discover and add new accounts to follow directly within the Threads app. Your feed will consist of posts from the accounts you follow as well as recommended content. Similar to other competing apps, you can reply to, repost, or quote posts from other users in Threads.

Are there any familiar faces on Threads?

Like any new social networking app, it takes time for Threads to gain traction. However, since you can access it by signing in with your Instagram account, it shouldn’t take long to see a significant number of users. Some notable early adopters on Threads include Shakira, F1 driver Lando Norris, NBA player Seth Curry, soccer star Kingsley Coman, and the well-known and outspoken chef, Gordon Ramsay.

What sets Threads apart from other apps?

So far, Threads may seem familiar, but there’s a significant plan on the horizon. Although it’s not currently implemented, the goal is to make Threads compatible with ActivityPub. This decentralized social networking protocol enables interconnectivity between social networking apps that use the same protocol. The aim is to allow Threads users to engage with accounts on different social media platforms. For instance, someone on Mastodon could send a follow-up request to your Threads account, and you could accept or decline that request directly within Threads. This means you could view their Mastodon posts in your Threads feed without needing a Mastodon account. While this feature is still in development, it holds great potential for the future of Threads.

Does Threads prioritize privacy?

Privacy is a key priority for Threads. The app is designed to respect user privacy by providing controls and options to safeguard personal information. Users have the ability to customize their privacy settings, choose who can view their posts, and manage their followers. Additionally, Threads aims to offer secure and encrypted communication channels to protect user data. By prioritizing privacy, Threads strives to create a safe and trusted environment for users to connect and share content without compromising their personal information.

Is Threads a secure platform?

Threads provides several features similar to those found in Instagram to help you manage and filter the content you see. You have control over who can reply to your posts or mention you. Additionally, you can set up a word filter to prevent posts containing specific words from appearing in your feed or replies. Accounts that you have blocked on Instagram are automatically blocked on Threads as well. You can unfollow, restrict, or block accounts directly within Threads for added control.

Threads will uphold Instagram’s Community Guidelines, which ensure that only suitable posts for a diverse audience are allowed. It prohibits posts containing hate speech or those intended to degrade or shame individuals privately. This sets Threads apart from its competitors as Meta emphasizes the significant investment of over $16 billion in teams and technology to enforce these guidelines on Instagram. The same resources will be utilized to maintain Threads as a platform for “positive and productive conversations.”

How can you obtain Threads?

As of July 6, 2023, Threads is being introduced in over 100 countries worldwide. The app is presently accessible for both iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

About the Author

Siddharth Dwivedi

Siddharth Dwivedi

Siddharth built two bootstrapped companies from the ground up: Vaizle and XOR Labs. He’s personally managed over Rs 100cr in ad budget across eCommerce, D2C, ed-tech, and health-tech segments. Apart from being a full-time marketer, he loves taking on the challenges of finance and operations. When not staring at his laptop, you’ll find him reading books or playing football on weekends.

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