Whilst we’re all waiting for the cage match between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk to materialise, they are currently going head-to-head in a less violent but equally as exciting manner. It’s a battle of the apps as Meta has finally launched its rival to Twitter – Threads.
Meta’s new “text-based conversation app”, which had been created as a “friendly” alternative to the social media platform owned by Elon Musk, launched this morning and users have already flocked to it. Zuckerberg took to his very own Threads account to share that 10 million users signed up in just the first seven hours. This comes as little surprise, as Twitter users have been unhappy with Musk’s updates to the app since his takeover last year.
Not much was known about Meta’s new app pre-launch. So, now we’ve had a chance to play around with the app, here’s what we think users need to know:
It’s straightforward to set up through Instagram
First things first, we found setting up our account to be a breeze. All you need to do is log in to your Instagram account on the Threads app and then Meta does the rest of the work for you. Your name, bio and URL are all imported from Instagram. It even gives you the option to follow everyone you follow on Instagram’ Threads accounts.
However, if you’d like to set up your Threads account under a different username to your Instagram, you’re out of luck. At the moment, Meta is only letting people log in using their Instagram login and providing no option to choose a new username for Threads specifically. However, this will also prevent anyone from grabbing your username before you’ve had the chance to sign up, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing!
Threads can be longer than tweets
Whilst the app works, looks and feels much like its competitor, one of the fundamental differences is that Threads can be almost twice as long as tweets!
This is good news for those who struggle to get their message across in 280 characters. Threads’ 500-character limit feels almost too much if you’ve become a pro at keeping within Twitter’s limits.
Another major difference between threads and tweets is the ability to hashtag. In short, on threads you can’t. In the early days of social media, hashtags were a great tool to categorise content and keep your own feed full of content you want to see.
Whilst they did work well, social media algorithms have massively advanced since then. Now they can often pick up what your content is about and filter it to the right audience without the need for hashtags, so it’s no surprise that Threads is ditching them for good.
Your blue tick is safe
Those with, or that are handling, verified accounts need not worry as you won’t need to go through a lengthy process to get verified on Threads. Fortunately, getting verified on Threads is straightforward since verification is handled through your Instagram account. In short, that means if you are verified on Instagram, you will automatically be verified on Threads.
If you haven’t already received your blue badge, there are two ways to get verified on Threads. You will either need to subscribe to Meta Verified, Meta’s new subscription-based feature or via the legacy Instagram verification process, which you can find in the settings.
There are no ads
It’s hard to imagine a social media platform without ads these days but Threads is currently completely ad-free. However, likely not for long.
As Meta has done previously, they may simply be making sure there is an audience there first (which it definitely is by the looks of things!) and then introduce ads in the future. This could be true as whilst Meta has suggested it will not monetise Threads this year, the door has been left open for ads in the future.
You can’t delete your account without also deleting Instagram
If after signing up you ultimately decide that the app isn’t for you, it seems that deleting your account isn’t super straightforward. Once you create a Threads profile, Meta will not let you delete it without also saying goodbye to your Instagram account.
You are able to deactivate your Threads profile while keeping your Instagram account intact. This means that other users won’t be able to see it, but your content and profile will remain on the Thread servers. If you do decide to bite the bullet and delete your Instagram account, all your Threads data will still live on the servers for up to 90 days. So, it’s worth reading the small print before signing up!
Of course, Threads is still in its infancy and there will undoubtedly be many updates and additional features in its future.
So we’ll be sure to keep you updated as the app develops!
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