7 Things to Know About Meta's Threads: Instagram's Twitter Rival

7 Things to Know About Meta’s Threads: Instagram’s Twitter Rival

Meta’s new app, Threads, has entered the social media arena as a competitor to Twitter. It offers a text-based version of Instagram and aims to attract users who are growing weary of Twitter’s controversies. With plans to support the open ActivityPub protocol, Threads could potentially become a hub for conversations across various apps. However, privacy and data concerns associated with Meta apps should be considered before joining. Here are seven key facts about Threads to help you decide whether to get involved.

  1. Availability: Threads, also known as ‘Threads, an Instagram app,’ is now available for free download on iOS and Android. It can be found on the App Store or within the latest version of the Instagram app. However, the app is not currently available in the EU due to privacy regulations and Meta’s recent conflicts with the EU regarding personalized ads.
  2. Twitter Similarities: Threads bears some similarities to Twitter, with posts allowing up to 500 characters and the ability to share videos up to five minutes long. Unlike Twitter, photos are not cropped, supporting both portrait and landscape orientations. Meta plans to make Threads compatible with the ActivityPub protocol, potentially enabling interactions with users from other apps that support ActivityPub.
  3. User Base: Within its first seven hours, Threads reportedly garnered 10 million sign-ups, indicating a successful integration with Instagram. While this number is relatively small compared to Instagram’s 1.35 billion active monthly users and Twitter’s 353 million monthly users, Threads has the potential to attract users seeking alternatives to Twitter.
  4. Successor to Instagram Threads: Threads is not the first app to carry the name. In 2019, Instagram launched an app called Threads to compete with Snapchat. However, this initial version was discontinued in 2021 after limited success. The new Threads app aims for stronger traction but may face a fate similar to its predecessor if it becomes overshadowed by Instagram’s existing features.
  5. Data Collection: Threads, like many apps, collects extensive personal data for targeted advertising. However, it appears to collect even more information than other platforms, including financial and sensitive data. Deleting a Threads account also results in the deletion of the associated Instagram account, creating a potential lock-in effect.
  6. Instagram Integration: Threads and Instagram are closely linked, facilitating an easy setup process. Users can transfer their Instagram handle to Threads and follow the same accounts they follow on Instagram. However, this integration also means that deleting Threads will delete the associated Instagram account, restricting flexibility.
  7. Limited Features: Threads initially lacks some key features found on Twitter, such as a chronological feed, a comprehensive search function, bookmarks, lists, and direct messaging capabilities. However, Meta has promised future updates, including support for the ActivityPub protocol, improved discovery tools, better recommendations, a more robust search function, and potentially a chronological feed.

Meta’s Threads app offers an alternative to Twitter, providing a text-based experience similar to Instagram. While it may lack certain features initially, the integration with Instagram and the potential for cross-app conversations through the ActivityPub protocol make Threads an interesting option. However, users should consider the privacy and data concerns associated with Meta’s apps before joining.