Following the takeover of Elon Musk of Twitter, many people have found their experience on the Bird app less than satisfactory. This is because Musk has changed many policies that have allowed the proliferation of bigots. In addition, Musk allowed accounts to pay for verification, a service only previously allowed for known institutions or VIPs. This has allowed the spread of misinformation and the cropping up of dummy or parody accounts has made many seek alternatives to Twitter. Mastodon was not particularly user-friendly while Blue Sky has a wait list even for celebrities. But most recently, Mark Zuckerberg launched Threads, could this be the app that finally downs the bird?
Threads by Instagram
In early July 2023, Mark Zuckerberg launched Threads, a sister app to the Meta apps which looks and feels the same as early bird Twitter. Zuckerberg was able to accomplish this by hiring former employees of Twitter, whom Musk is threatening to sue. Threads was released before schedule. This could be because Musk recently announced a limit to how many tweets users can see each day. With his new policy, unverified users could view 600 tweets while Twitter Blue subscribers could see 6000.
To sign up for Threads, you can use your Instagram account. When you sign up with Instagram, it imports all your follower data. You will carry your followers from your Instagram account. When people request to follow your account, this will give you the option to either approve follow requests or hide them.
Threads got 30 million sign-ups in its first few days. Brands such as The New Yorker, HBO, Sarah Jessica Parker and Oprah have signed up. This has many people believing that Threads could be the ultimate substitute for Twitter.
How to get Threads
It’s a free-to-download app on Google Play Store and Apple Store. You can access it from your Instagram account. Threads is reminding people of how Twitter used to be before it got bogged down in toxicity. Sarah Jessica Parker says she hopes Threads might prove to be a platform where folks are kind, and thoughtful, and don’t feel encouraged to be mean, aggressive or hostile.
To sign up for Threads, you can either search it on your app store or go from your Instagram account and go to the menu selection where Threads is an option. This redirects you to the Threads page on the app store.
Benefits of Threads
Instead of starting your follower count from scratch, you can import your Instagram mutuals as a springboard. When you join Threads, you can choose whether to follow the same accounts you followed on Instagram if they have accounts. You can also verify follows from Twitter or enable them altogether.
The home feed has a mix of content from the accounts that you follow and For You content curated from your patterns on Instagram. This helps you discover accounts that you may enjoy or that are near your location. However, while people are opposed to the algorithmic mining of personal preferences it also makes it easier to find content curated to your location or tastes.
The Search menu also comes with a list of accounts similar to what you already follow on Instagram. For example, if you follow cooking channels, you can find more content creators who have food content which makes it easier to curate your feed.
The home feed is also automatically chronological. The post at the top of your feed is the latest post from the accounts that you follow. It also shows you the replies based of the people that you follow. If you no longer wish to see them, selecting the Hide option from the menu against each post stops these posts from appearing.
The Notifications tab gives you the option of seeing all the activities possible on your account. These include the accounts you follow on Instagram, Replies, Mentions, and a specialised vertical where you can see all the posts from Verified accounts. If you had or followed a Verified account on Instagram, this carries over to Threads.
On the top right corner of the Threads app, you can also directly connect to your Instagram account making movement from app to app seamless.
Is Threads the same as Twitter?
If you’re chronically online, you’ll notice plenty of similarities to the Bird app. However, Threads carries similar features to Instagram, such as the buttons to like, and share. Threads also has a button to reshare similar to Twitter’s Retweet button. Retweets on Threads are known as Reposts.
Meta has previously successfully mimicked other apps such as Tiktok, integrated as Reels on Instagram and Stories from Snapchat. However, these were done within the Instagram and Facebook apps. Stories have also manifested as Statuses on WhatsApp. However, it’s remained to be seen how a standalone app fares in these uncharted waters.
Threads also allows posting 500 characters while Twitter limits this to 280 for unverified users. Videos can also be of 5-minute length while posts (tweets) can be directly shared to Instagram stories and other platforms. When you sign up for Threads via Instagram, you continue to use your Instagram profile name and picture. They can only change if you change your Instagram handle and profile picture.
There is currently no dark mode for Threads. You can also deactivate your Threads account without directly affecting your Instagram account. Unlike old Twitter, Threads also has a feed that is curated based on your likes. The algorithm mixes “For You” posts with the posts from the people you follow.
Threads is available for download on the Google Play Store and the Apple store.
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