What is Threads? Meta’s new platform hoping to rival Twitter

Meta’s new Threads app resembles Twitter threads. Just when you thought there were enough new social media apps doing the rounds – and rules about how we can use them

What is Threads Metas new platform hoping to rival Twitter 2 2

another platform to rival Twitter has just launched: Threads. And it appears to have the potential to have a significant influence, given that it had 10 million sign-ups within the first seven hours of its existence (according to Meta’s figures). 

When was Threads launched?

Threads were first listed in the Apple app store on Tuesday, July 4, 2023, although it was not officially released until Thursday, July 6, 2023.

It’s ready for usage for anyone who didn’t already save the app for pre-order (meaning it will have now told you that it’s available and downloaded automatically).

The app is currently free, although there may end up being more premium services or purchases within it that will cost you.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg… via his latest Threads post, of course).

When asked if it will overtake Twitter, Zuckerberg said, “It’ll take some time, but I think there should be a public conversations app with 1 billion+ people on it.” Twitter has had the opportunity to do so, but has failed to do so. We can only hope.”

The move by Meta, Facebook’s parent company, appears to be well-timed, as users on the Elon Musk-owned app now face restrictions such as having to be logged in to view the site, a limit on the number of Tweets unverified accounts can view in a day (600 compared to 6,000 for Twitter Blue members), and Tweetdeck (a dashboard that allows users to view tweets).

allows you to view multiple timelines in one place) soon to be available only to paying users.

So, what exactly is the new Threads app, which joins other rival platforms Bluesky and Mastodon?

What is Threads?

Meta’s new Threads app resembles Twitter threads.

On the Apple app store, it is titled ‘Threads, an Instagram app,’ and it appears to be similar to Twitter, with screenshots indicating it has comparable capabilities such as liking, commenting, reposting, and sharing what would be a ‘thread’, rather than a ‘tweet’. Fairly self-explanatory.

Advertised as a “text-based conversation app” which allows you to “say more”, it’s listed as suitable for those 12+.

“Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow,” according to the app’s description.

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“Whatever your interests are, you can follow and connect directly with your favourite creators and others who share your passion – or build your own loyal following to share your ideas, opinions, and creativity with the world.”

And if you’re wondering where the name comes from (other than the obvious), it was originally introduced by Meta as a “camera-first messaging app” no doubt in competition with Snapchat, though was never launched in the end. It appears to have been saved for the more crucial competitor, Twitter…

How do you use Threads?

Those who are tired of having to create endless new logins for the latest app of the week can simply log in with the same details and will be assigned the same username if they have an Instagram account. A brilliant yet straightforward method to capitalise on the app’s two billion active users.


Threads allows you to like, re-share and comment on posts.

You may also quickly find and follow the same profiles you do on Instagram (unless you want a fresh start) and start connecting through chats (or should we say ‘threads’?).

It appears you can choose to show what you post (up to 500 characters) to anyone, profiles you follow, or those mentioned only.

What has the reaction been so far?

This information was obtained via Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in a different format, or more information, on their website.

According to The Verge, Meta chief product officer Chris Cox stated before the debut that they had been “hearing from creators and public figures who are interested in having a platform that is sanely run.”

 It seems unsurprising that Twitter’s co-founder Jack Dorsey (also working on a fellow Twitter rival, Bluesky, which has data stored on independent servers rather than under one corporation), shared a snapshot of Threads’ privacy information.

Health and fitness information, financial information, contact information, browsing history, search history, purchases, location, contacts, identifiers, sensitive information, and other information may be collected on Threads and linked to your identity.

Threads vs Twitter

In response to Dorsey’s statement, ex-UK Gov digital comms advisor and head of social media Matt Navarra said, “Yet people would rather use that app than have to stick with Elons Twitter.”

 Speaks volumes.”

In the run-up to its debut, one Twitter user said, “Not sure I want to give Zuckerberg access to my health & financial data though..” Another replied, “I’m sure you give the same, and more, to other apps.”

“That new Threads app is going to take this place out,” comedian Kae Kurd twitted.

And now that it’s live, over on Threads, one user posted, “I promise you, if you listen to the users, listen to the MASSES complaints, this will be the next biggest platform. Listen to the creatives. Please do not push the algorithm against us like Instagram and Twitter. Don’t let bots, hate speech, and misinformation run wild. Keep moderation tight, but free.”

Only time will tell…

What happens if you want to delete Threads?

There has been some confusion over what happens if you change your mind and no longer want an account – and while it appears that you may erase posts on Threads and deactivate your account up to once a week, deleting it permanently will also obliterate your Instagram account.

“To delete your Threads profile and data, you’ll need to delete your Instagram account,” the Threads help centre page on Instagram explains. Bit much? And may have deterred a few people if they’d have known this sooner…

But for those still keen, head over to the Apple app store, or Google Play for android users, and hit download/install!

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