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Threads App: A Comprehensive Guide for Newcomers

Dee

August 9, 2023 | 12 min read

In less than two weeks, the Threads app recorded 150 million downloads. A competitor to the micro-blogging website Twitter, it is currently the hottest social media platform. Celebrities, brands and influencers like MKBHD, Shakira, Netflix, and Gordan Ramsay are some of the notable figures on the network. As it is a new social networking service, you want to know more about it.

What is Threads by Instagram, and how do you use it? What’s the difference between this app and Twitter? Can it take on Twitter, or will it be just another social media platform that disappears into the void? Find the answers to all these questions and more in this article.

A person about to open the Threads app on their smartphone.

What Is the Threads App?

On July 5, 2023, Twitter was full of tweets about the Threads app. If you scrolled past these posts, you’d wonder, what is the Threads app? It is the latest social networking service from Meta. This is a platform where you can share text-based posts.

It is available in over 100 countries for Android and iOS users. There is no version you can access through a desktop or laptop. Also, you need an Instagram account to create a new profile on this platform.

However, this isn’t the first time Meta released an app with the same name. This happened before Facebook, Inc. rebranded to Meta. The first launch of Threads was in October 2019. It was available for Android and iOS and provided similar features to Snapchat. Like Snapchat, the focus was on allowing users to communicate via private messages and media. You can send texts and photos to people you include in Instagram’s Close Friends feature. Instagram’s photo editing suite was also available. But, the platform decided to shut shop in December 2021 as it wasn’t popular among Instagram users. On top of that, the standout features of this app became available on Instagram. As a result, there wasn’t any reason to keep this app around.

The Threads app on an iPhone in front of the Meta logo.

Instagram Threads App vs. Twitter: What’s the Difference?

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When you use the Instagram Threads app, you’ll notice it is similar to Twitter. What’s the difference between them as they occupy the micro-blogging niche?

  • The first distinction is what both platforms call a post. On Twitter, it is a tweet (now post), whereas on Threads, it is a thread. However, this isn’t the same as Twitter threads, which refer to multiple posts from a single user.
  • These apps are dissimilar when it comes to character limitations in posts. Twitter allows you to include up to 280 characters in a tweet. You can add up to four videos, photos and GIFs in every tweet. The videos cannot be longer than 2 minutes and 20 seconds or 512 MB in size. If you get Twitter Blue, you can write up to 25,000 characters and upload two-hour videos. In other words, you can create a blog post. On Threads, every post has a media upload limit of ten. Similarly, you can write up to 500 characters in a thread.
  • Twitter embraces political conversations and news as users visit the platform for these types of content. However, Threads is trying to steer away from these topics because of the negativity that comes with them.
  • Twitter has marketing tools for businesses and individuals, like advertisements, promoted posts and trends. Threads doesn’t have these tools for brands and people. It focuses on providing more features and growing its monthly active user base. However, this will change in the future.
  • There are rate limits on Twitter to reduce data scraping for artificial intelligence (AI) tools and decrease spam. Threads doesn’t limit how many posts you can see in a day. 
  • Hashtags work on Twitter, while Threads treats them like any other text.

Will Threads App Replace Twitter?

Given the Threads app’s explosive start, it’s no surprise that people believe it will replace Twitter. Coupled with its rapid growth since its launch, this line of thought makes sense. However, it has a long way to go to take Twitter’s spot.

For starters, the app is barebones, especially when you compare it to Twitter’s feature list. This is because the app is still in beta. The upside is that you’ll get more features over time. A recent update introduced the Following feed for posts, where you see posts from users you follow.

Despite the rapid growth, the app is now facing a significant drop off in usage. Only 13 million active users were on the platform the second week after launch. Similarly, looking at the usage statistics, Android users spend six minutes instead of the initial 21 minutes. The story isn’t good on the iOS camp either, as this figure dropped from 19 minutes to four minutes.

However, this is ordinary as the initial excitement from the app wears off. Initially, people must create accounts, find friends and other popular accounts and try out the app. After this period, there isn’t much to do on the platform. Also, the lack of features contributes to the waning interest among users. But, the team behind the app is aware of these shortcomings and is working to improve the user experience.

It is also why this app doesn’t have any marketing tools for brands and individuals. However, you shouldn’t disregard it because of this drop-off. Despite the decrease in usage statistics, there are over 1 million daily downloads. This is in spite of the app not being available to people in the European Union.

How To Use Threads App?

In this section, you’ll learn how to use the Threads app and join conversations with other users. You must have an Instagram account to use the new social networking service. Otherwise, there is no way to use this app on your device.

How To Create an Account?

You need an account to use the Threads app. Follow the instructions in this guide to set up your profile.

  1. Find and download Threads from Instagram from the App Store or Play Store.
  2. After you open the app, you’ll need to tap the Sign In With Instagram button. You’ll only see this option if you don’t have the Instagram app. Otherwise, it shows Log In With Instagram, along with the name of your Instagram profile. You can switch to a different profile on this page.
  3. Upload a profile picture, fill out the bio and add links to your account. You can also import this information from your Instagram profile.
  4. You must select whether you want a public profile where anyone can view and engage with your posts. Or opt for a private profile. It only allows people you approve to see and interact with your content.
  5. In the next screen, you must select who you want to follow. The app lists all the accounts you follow on Instagram with a profile on this platform. You can follow each profile manually or select Follow All.
  6. The last step is the terms and conditions page, where you learn about the platform’s policies. Go through these policies to learn more about their rules. Tap Join Threads once you’re ready to complete the account creation process.

How To Start Your First Thread?

After you create an account, the next step is to learn how to start threads. As highlighted earlier, this is what the app calls posts. The guide below highlights how to start your first thread:

  1. Open the app on your device.
  2. Look for the compose icon. On this app, it looks like a square with rounded corners and a pen on one of its edges.
  3. Compose your thread. Don’t worry if you exceed the 500-character limit; the platform automatically creates a new thread.
  4. Attach photos and videos to your thread. This platform allows a maximum of ten images or videos.
  5. At the bottom left, you can change who has permission to reply to your post. You can choose from these options:
    1. Anyone can reply
    2. Your followers
    3. Mentioned only
    4. Profiles you follow
  6. At the bottom right, you’ll find the Post button. Tap it to publish your thread. You’ll see a progress bar during this process.

How To Share a Thread?

When you see a post you like on the Threads app, you can share it with your followers.

  1. Below the thread, you’ll find an icon resembling a paper plane. Select it, and a new menu appears on your screen.
  2. Choose the method you want to use to share the thread. You can choose from these options:
  • Add it as an Instagram story
  • Share the thread as a post on Instagram
  • Post a tweet with a link to the thread
  • Copy the link and share your thread on any platform or website
  • Share via a compatible app on your smartphone

How to Like and Repost a Thread?

It’s easy to engage with posts on the Threads app. All the buttons you need to interact with the thread are below it. If you like a post, tap the icon that looks like a heart. When you do so, you’ll see the number of likes on the thread goes up by one.

Similarly, if you want to repost, you can do so by tapping the button, which looks like the retweet icon. You’ll have two options. One is to repost the thread, which means you share it on the platform. The second option is to quote the repost, which allows you to add your opinions.

A red and blue neon sign with Threads like icon.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Threads

You’ll have so many questions about the Threads app. After all, it is a new social media platform. Below are three common questions people tend to ask about this app.

Can You Delete Your Threads Account?

If you use Meta’s apps like Facebook and Instagram, you can deactivate or delete your accounts on these platforms. Can you remove your profile, as this app is from the same company? Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer any way to delete your account permanently. 

But you can deactivate your profile. When you do this, other users will no longer see your posts. It also hides your activity, like likes and replies on other posts. You can reactivate your profile to get back on the platform. 

When you do deactivate your account, it doesn’t affect your Instagram profile. However, the vice versa isn’t true. If you deactivate or delete your Instagram account, it reflects on your Threads profile.

How To Use Threads on a Web Browser?

As this is a text-focused social media platform, people assume you can use it on a web browser. However, Threads is not available to any web browser. There may be workarounds where you can use the app on Windows as it supports Android apps. But this may not work properly, or you’ll face many issues as the app is still in beta.

Why Is Threads App Not Available to People in the European Union (EU)?

The Threads app isn’t available to the European Union (EU). You can’t even use a virtual private network (VPN) to make it seem like you’re from a different region. Meta is likely waiting for the EU to pass the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

According to the DMA, companies cannot reuse user data to target the same people through advertisements. Only if people provide consent can companies do this. If you review the privacy policy, you’ll notice that the platform collects significant user data. For example, it tracks your activity, who you follow and what you post. The platform also uses information from your profile. It can share this data with third-party services.

Meta collects user data from Facebook and Instagram. Mixing these data points for targeted advertising violates DMA. Also, this policy prevents companies from favoring their products on their platform. For example, Amazon has Amazon Basics, which often appears at the top of search results.

At the same time, the platform also has to ensure user data doesn’t leak. Complying with all these regulations is quite a task, which is why it isn’t available in the EU.

Is It Possible to Delete Multiple Posts on Threads?

Currently, there is no way to delete multiple posts on Threads. This can change as the platform is still in beta testing and will continue to receive more features. However, you can still delete one thread at a time.

X, previously known as Twitter, is also similar, as there is no way to delete multiple tweets (now posts) in one go. Keeping old tweets on your profile is always risky, given how quickly things change over time. A funny joke can age poorly and put you in a spot, even if it wasn’t your intention. Or, people troll you due to various tweets you posted a decade ago. Also, these posts have no context, making it easy to misunderstand them.

TweetEraser ensures this will never be a problem as it helps you delete thousands of old tweets. You can also set an automation routine that deletes posts when the number of tweets crosses your threshold. Remove your old tweets today so that there is no room for misinterpretation!

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