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What you need to know about Threads, Instagram’s new Twitter competitor

Instagram’s highly anticipated text-based social media platform, Threads, made its debut on Wednesday evening, a day earlier than originally planned. The app, designed to rival Twitter, is now available to users in over 100 countries.


In an impressive feat, Threads amassed over 5 million sign-ups within the first few hours, as announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Upon launching Threads, users can seamlessly sign up using their existing Instagram accounts, potentially allowing more than 2 billion monthly active users to import their profiles. The app features a scrollable feed where users can create short-form text posts limited to 500 characters.

Additionally, individuals can incorporate individual or carousel photos and videos into their posts. The feed comprises content from accounts users follow and recommendations from the platform’s algorithm. Users can engage with posts by liking, commenting, reposting, or sharing to their Instagram stories or feeds. The user interface bears similarities to Instagram’s design, with familiar buttons and tabs.

Instagram’s  Threads
A view of Threads’ mobile interface. Photo/Meta

Threads joins a growing list of platforms, including Bluesky, Spill, and Mastodon, seeking to challenge Twitter’s dominance in the microblogging sphere.

New users with Instagram accounts are instructed to retain their usernames, but they can modify their bio and link to their profiles. Verified Instagram users will retain their verification badges on Threads. Users can choose to follow all accounts they already follow on Instagram in bulk, including those who have not yet joined Threads.

Mark Zuckerberg’s inaugural thread on Threads read, “Let’s do this. Welcome to Threads” accompanied by a fire emoji.

Instagram’s  Threads

Notable early adopters of the app include Jennifer Lopez, Tom Brady, HBO, Teen Vogue, and other prominent brands and publishers.

Users who have blocked accounts on Instagram will find those accounts automatically blocked on Threads.

Users have the option to limit interactions by choosing to allow replies from everyone, accounts they follow, or only mentions (users directly tagged in a thread). They can also restrict mentions of themselves to accounts they follow or disable them entirely.

Threads adheres to Instagram’s community guidelines, and users can report violations. Similar to Twitter, users can customize their feeds by hiding specific words or phrases.

Prior to the launch, Meta granted selected creators early access to test the app’s features and encourage user participation. Currently, Threads is not available in the European Union.

Meta is actively working on making Threads compatible with ActivityPub, a decentralized social networking protocol associated with the emerging Fediverse movement. If successful, this integration would allow Threads to connect with other apps supporting the ActivityPub protocol, such as Mastodon and WordPress, enabling new types of cross-platform connections. Other platforms, including Tumblr, have expressed intentions to support the ActivityPub protocol in the future. If implemented, Threads users would be able to follow and interact with users from other platforms within their Threads feed.

Read also:  Facebook to Launch a Rivalry App for Twitter

Meta’s plans for Threads include additional features such as direct messaging, trending topics, and an improved search function. Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri emphasized that Threads is designed for public conversations, aiming to incorporate Instagram’s success in photo and video sharing into the text-based experience.

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