It’s the hottest new app on the social media scene. Threads garnered over 100 million users in less than a week - that’s faster than ChatGPT, TikTok and Instagram! With Twitter threatening to sue over alleged unlawfully misappropriated trade secrets and similar site Mastodon fading into the background, let’s take a look at what all the fuss is about. What exactly is Threads and is it worth the hype?
What is Threads?
Threads is an app made by Meta and linked to Instagram that allows users to share text-based content as well as videos, images and links. It acts like a primitive version of Twitter, with text conversation, likes, replies, reposts and quotes as key components of engagement.
How to use Threads
Threads works similarly to many other social media apps. Users make profiles, follow other accounts, scroll through a feed and share content through making posts.
When a user logs onto Threads, the main feed is determined for the user by an algorithm. At present, there doesn’t appear to be any user control over the order, accounts shown or custom feed curation.
Interestingly, Threads currently doesn’t support advertising on the app. This absence of ads is a positive for the user experience at the moment, while raising questions about how the app will make money. Introducing ads and/or introducing a potential subscription model are possibilities which may be entertained once the user base has grown substantially. Meta owner Mark Zuckerberg states, "Our approach will be the same as all our other products: make the product work well first, then see if we can get it on a clear path to 1 billion people, and only then think about monetization at that point."
Limited search function
The next option in the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen is the search function. Currently, users can only search for other accounts on Threads. This is very basic when compared with search functions on other social media apps which enable users to search for posts, hashtags, locations and more. As of today, there doesn’t appear to be the use of hashtags anywhere on Threads.
Posts on Threads can include up to 500 characters of text, links, up to 5 minutes of video and up to 10 images per post. If a thread contains more than 500 characters, another thread will be added automatically. Users have the option to choose who can reply to a post which can be customised each time a thread is posted.
Interacting with posts
When engaging with a post, a user can like, reply, repost, quote or share the post. Posts can be shared on Instagram stories, as a post directly on Instagram or as a tweet. Posts can also be shared via a copied link or through other external apps.
Notifications can be viewed altogether or separated into the groups: replies, mentions or verified. This can make it easier for viewers to find the type of interaction they’re interested in.
Profiles on Threads display a name, handle, bio, link, profile picture, number of followers and content grouped by threads and replies. Users can choose to have a public or private profile.
The pros and cons of being linked to Instagram
Although a separate app, Threads is an extension of Instagram. This gives rise to a number of pros and cons when joining, using and leaving the app.
Threads ticket on Instagram
On Instagram, if a user types ‘Thread’ or ‘Threads’ into the search bar, a ticket icon appears. When tapped, this ticket displays the launch date of the Threads app and directs the Instagram user to download the app.
You can only log into a Threads account with an Instagram account. This means you can’t use the Threads app without setting up an Instagram account first. Without the need for multiple login details, this feature is great if someone already uses and loves Instagram; not so much if they don’t.
Copying over Instagram information
A really useful feature when setting up a Threads account is the option to import information from Instagram. Save time and effort while maintaining consistency across platforms with the same bio automatically imported at the touch of a button.
Instagram accounts that are verified maintain that verification over on Threads. Meta Verified accounts that were subscribed to through an Instagram account will also show up as verified on Threads. This is a nice little touch that helps accounts maintain credibility across these apps.
Temporary badge added to Instagram bio
If you’ve joined Threads, a temporary badge is added to the top of your Instagram bio. This lets followers of your account know that you’re on Threads and directs users to your Threads profile. This seems to be a marketing effort on Instagram’s part to build buzz around the new app, while enabling Threads users to build a following on the new app from their current Instagram following. The owner of the profile can choose to hide this badge if they wish.
Deleting or deactivating an account
Currently, there is no way to delete your Threads accounts without deleting your Instagram account too. Reportedly, this is because Threads is powered by Instagram. This has understandably caused concern and Meta claims to be working on a solution.
In the meantime, users can make an account private, delete posts or deactivate an account on Threads. Deactivating the linked Instagram account will also result in the Threads profile being deactivated.
Does Threads sound familiar?
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Instagram has created an app called Threads. In 2019, Instagram announced the launch of Threads as a ‘camera-first messaging app that helps you stay connected to your close friends’. However, this app was shut down in 2021. Will Instagram have more success this time around?
While there’s a lot of room for development that users can hopefully look forward to, there’s no denying the demand for an app like Threads. We hope this article sheds some light on the features and layout of this shiny new app, so you can decide whether it’s the right app for your business to thrive on. For more information on how to grow your brand using social media, try Minter.io - the social media analytics tool for brands and businesses online.
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