With the constant evolution of social media platforms, the arrival of a new competitor often catches attention and piques curiosity. However, with Meta’s backing, Threads is positioning itself as a promising text-first social media platform, aiming to provide a positive space for public conversations. With Twitter’s recent challenges under Elon Musk’s ownership, Threads aims to capitalize on the demand for a new and refreshing social media experience.
Distinct from its predecessors like Mastodon and BlueSky, Threads leverages the support of Meta, led by the influential Mark Zuckerberg. With an emphasis on seamless integration, Threads allows users to access the platform through their existing Instagram accounts. This convenient onboarding process grants access to the 2.35+ billion Instagram user base, enabling them to effortlessly transition and repopulate their new Threads feed with the individuals they follow on Instagram.
Threads has demonstrated tremendous potential, amassing over 90 million users at the time of this writing. This remarkable growth trajectory positions Threads as a strong contender to potentially claim the title of the fastest-growing app in history.
The core features of Threads are explained below, along with some tips for users:
- The feed utilizes an algorithmic approach, combining content from followed accounts with suggested profiles.
- Users have control over who can reply to their threads by choosing the desired audience during thread creation.
- The ability to mute undesirable accounts is accessible by tapping the ••• icon next to the post.
- There is a character limit of 501 for individual posts.
- Posts can be easily shared to Instagram Stories, with the added option to enhance the story using Instagram Stories filters.
- Post sharing may experience slight delays due to the platform’s high traffic.
- Users can share multiple photos in a carousel format. Unlike Instagram, Threads’ carousels display pictures with varying sizes and ratios in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
- No noticeable limitations have been observed regarding file size, resolution, or image quality.
- Videos are visually appealing but muted by default.
- The platform imposes a five-minute time limit for videos, although resolution restrictions are yet to be identified.
- Most links shared on Threads are accompanied by properly embedded images.
- Users can include a link in their bio by editing their profile, akin to the functionality on Instagram.
- Threads offers the option to switch to a private profile independent of Instagram.
- Users can change their Threads profile picture, which remains separate from their Instagram account.
- The platform allows muting specific words, providing users with greater control over their experience.
- Notification settings offer granularity, allowing customization according to individual preferences.
- Account deletion is currently linked to the deletion of the associated Instagram account, although the Threads team is exploring possibilities for independent account deletion.
- Threads, like other Meta apps, requires access to various data on the user’s phone, which may be a consideration for those concerned about data privacy.
Additional features and future plans:
- Threads offers an interactive web client, although its functionality is limited to read-only access.
Users can expect a feed consisting exclusively of followed accounts, as confirmed by Mark Zuckerberg and Adam Mosseri.
- Search functionality is currently limited to usernames, with future plans to include specific threads and trends.
- Hashtags, direct messaging, and other features are considered low priority and may be introduced in subsequent updates.
- Users can sign up for the beta program to gain early access to upcoming features.
While Threads has yet to launch in the EU due to data usage concerns, users can sideload the app via APK installation. It is important to exercise caution when accessing third-party sources for download.
It is worth noting that Elon Musk has expressed discontent towards Threads, as several ex-Twitter employees allegedly joined Meta’s Threads team, potentially leveraging their knowledge and secrets from Twitter. In response, Musk’s attorney sent a cease and desist letter to Mark Zuckerberg, threatening legal action against Meta. A light-hearted suggestion of a potential resolution through a physical competition was made, adding a touch of humor to the situation.
With Meta’s resources and the unique features Threads offers, it is poised to become a significant competitor in the social media landscape. As the platform continues to evolve and attract a growing user base, its impact on the industry remains to be seen.