Threads: Meta’s New App to Challenge Twitter and Snapchat
Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has recently launched a new app called Threads, which aims to offer a space for real-time conversations online. Threads is closely modeled on Twitter, but also borrows some features from Snapchat and Instagram. In this blog post, we will explore what Threads is, how to use it, and what it means for the social media landscape.
What is Threads?
Threads is a text-based conversation app that allows users to publish short posts or updates that are up to 500 characters long. Users can also include links, photos or videos up to 5 minutes long in their posts. Threads is linked to users’ Instagram accounts, so they can keep their usernames, followers and verification status. Users can also easily share their Threads posts to their Instagram stories, or to any other platform they choose.
Threads is designed to help users connect with their close friends and communities, as well as discover new content and creators. Users can customize their profile and feed settings, filter specific words, and restrict who can mention them. Users can also follow the same accounts they already follow on Instagram, or find new ones based on recommendations.
Threads is available in more than 100 countries on iOS and Android devices. Users can download the app for free from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
How to use Threads?
To use Threads, users need to have an Instagram account, as the app requires them to use their Instagram login credentials to sign in. Once they launch their account, they can create a customizable profile, or use a default private profile if they are under 18 in the UK.
To create a post or a “Thread”, users can tap on the “+” icon at the bottom of the screen, and then choose whether they want to add text, photo or video. They can also add filters, stickers or emojis to their posts. Users can then select who can see their Thread, which can be either everyone or their followers. Users can also choose to send their Thread directly to specific people or groups.
To view other people’s posts, users can scroll through their feed, which will include posts from people and accounts they follow on Instagram or Threads, as well as recommendations for undiscovered content. Users can also search for specific topics or hashtags using the magnifying glass icon at the top of the screen. Users can interact with other people’s posts by liking, commenting or sharing them.
To access more features and settings, users can tap on their profile picture at the top left of the screen. From there, they can edit their profile, manage their close friends list, adjust their notifications and privacy preferences, and access screen reader support and AI-generated image descriptions.
What does Threads mean for social media?
Threads is Meta’s latest attempt to compete with Twitter, which has long been the dominant platform for real-time conversations online. Threads also competes with Snapchat, which offers a similar app for sharing photos and videos with close friends. By launching Threads, Meta hopes to attract more users and advertisers who are looking for an alternative to Twitter or Snapchat.
Threads has already seen a huge surge in sign-ups since its launch on July 5th 2023. According to Meta, Threads added more than 10 million new users in less than 24 hours. Some of these users may have been drawn by the recent turmoil at Twitter, which experienced an outage over the weekend, followed by an announcement that it had imposed temporary limits on how many tweets its users are able to read while using the app. Twitter’s owner Elon Musk has also been criticized for his erratic behavior and controversial decisions since acquiring the platform in October 2022.
However, Threads is not without its challenges. Meta has previously launched another app called Threads in 2019, but it was more focused on beating Snapchat than being a Twitter killer. The original Threads app was not very successful and was eventually discontinued in 20213. Meta may face some confusion and backlash from users who are familiar with the old app or who are loyal to Twitter or Snapchat. Meta may also face some regulatory scrutiny and public backlash over its data privacy practices and its dominance in the social media market.
Threads is an ambitious app that aims to offer a new way of communicating online. Whether it will succeed in challenging Twitter and Snapchat remains to be seen. For now, users who are curious about Threads can give it a try and see for themselves what it has to offer.