Threads, the Twitter competitor created by Meta, has finally arrived after months of rumors and leaks. The new app, available on iOS and Android as well as through the Threads.net desktop site, aims to provide an open and community-driven platform for Instagram users.
With Threads, users can post text updates of up to 500 characters, share photos, and upload videos up to five minutes long. The app’s interface bears some resemblance to Twitter, featuring a minimal design that allows users to like, comment, repost, and share threads. By logging in with their Instagram username, users can seamlessly follow the same people they already follow on Instagram.
The main feed on Threads consists of recommended content and posts from followed accounts. Unlike Twitter, there is currently no option to switch between streams of recommended and following-only content. However, Meta may consider adding this feature in the future.
Meta has incorporated Instagram’s privacy controls into Threads, offering users the ability to filter out specific words in replies and restrict who can reply to their threads. The options include allowing replies from everyone on the platform, only people followed by the user, or solely users mentioned in the post.
At launch, Threads does not support ActivityPub, the decentralized social networking protocol used by platforms like Mastodon. However, Meta acknowledges the importance of a decentralized approach and plans to make Threads compatible with an open social networking protocol in the future. By joining the growing ecosystem of interoperable services, Threads aims to help users find their communities regardless of the app they use.
While Threads makes its debut, Twitter has implemented stricter restrictions, including rate limits for unverified users and blocking logged-out users from viewing tweets (although this change was later reversed). In over 100 countries, including the United States, Meta has introduced Threads, but it will not be available in the European Union initially. Compliance with upcoming laws poses challenges for Meta, as the company wants to ensure that Threads is forward-compatible and fully compliant with regulations. Extensive internal documentation and testing are being carried out to meet their high standards.
Threads presents an opportunity for Instagram users to engage with a new platform, offering unique features and a different approach to social media.