Threads, the latest addition to the social media landscape, is a microblogging platform owned by Meta Platforms. In this article, we will explore the features, availability, and history of Threads, as well as discuss the initial reception and concerns surrounding this new social networking service.
What is Threads?
Threads is an online social media and social networking service owned by Meta Platforms, an American technology company. It functions as a microblogging platform, similar to Twitter, where users can post and share text, images, and videos. The platform allows users to interact with posts by replying, reposting, and liking them.
Threads is available as a mobile application on both iOS and Android devices, providing full functionality. Additionally, it has limited functionality on the web, with plans for expansion in the future.
One unique aspect of Threads is its integration with Instagram. Users are required to have an Instagram account to sign up for Threads, and they must use the same handle on both platforms. This integration ensures a seamless experience between the two services, with shared usernames, profile pictures, and display names.
While Threads offers a similar microblogging experience to Twitter, it differentiates itself by placing a strong emphasis on public, text-based posts and conversations. It is closely linked to Instagram and is based on the same concept of real-time sharing and engagement. Posts on Threads can contain up to 500 characters of text and include videos of up to 5 minutes in length.
Threads gained significant attention during its launch, reaching 80 million users within the first 48 hours, breaking the previous record for rapid user signups set by ChatGPT. The New York Times, CNN and different news portal covers this news in their own way.
Download Threads App
To use Threads you need to download Threads app from Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Visit the store and download it:
Key Features and Availability
Posting and Interacting: Threads allows users to share text, images, and videos with others. Users can engage with posts through replies, reposts, and likes, creating a dynamic and interactive social experience.
Cross-platform Functionality: The app is available on both iOS and Android devices, offering full functionality. Limited functionality is available on the web, with plans to expand it in the future.
Integration with Instagram: To sign up for Threads, users must have an Instagram account and use the same handle. This integration creates a seamless experience between the two platforms, sharing usernames, profile pictures, and display names.
Multilingual Support: Threads is available in 31 languages, catering to a global user base.
Geographical Availability: Initially launched in the United States and 99 other countries, Threads excluded the European Union due to regulatory uncertainties regarding personal data usage.
History and Development
Context: Threads emerged as a response to the changes in Twitter’s content moderation policies after its acquisition by Elon Musk.
Conceptualization: Meta employees explored the idea of turning Instagram Notes, a text-based feature for Instagram, into a separate app. This eventually led to the development of Threads.
Development and Information Release: The development of Threads began in January 2023 under the codename “Project 92”. Information about the app was made public in March, followed by details of an internal company-wide meeting in June.
Pre-launch: Threads made its appearance on the Apple App Store on July 3, with a scheduled release date of July 6.
Launch and Initial Reception
User Signups: Threads broke records by reaching 80 million users within its first 48 hours, surpassing the rapid user signup record previously set by ChatGPT.
Legal Concerns: Shortly after the launch, Meta Platforms faced threats of litigation from Twitter, claiming the use of trade secrets in developing the app.
Appearance and Features
Purpose and Design: Threads aims to provide a platform for real-time conversations and sharing, with a focus on public, text-based posts and conversations similar to Twitter. It is closely linked to and based on sister platform Instagram.
Post Specifications: Users can create posts with up to 500 characters of text and include videos of up to 5 minutes in length.
Native Mobile Clients: Threads is accessible through dedicated mobile applications for iOS and Android devices.
Web Application: While the web version of Threads offers limited functionality currently, profiles can be accessed using the format threads.net/@user.
Availability Restrictions: Threads is blocked in Iran due to government censorship. It is also not available in the European Union, awaiting clarity on regulatory concerns. However, the app gained popularity in China despite the blocking of the website.
Criticisms and Concerns
Instagram Account Linkage: Threads received criticism for its strong integration with Instagram, as users must delete their Instagram accounts to delete their Threads accounts. Meta Platforms is working on a separate deletion option.
Tracking and Profiling: Users have expressed concerns about Meta’s tracking and profiling practices, as Threads does not provide an option to disable such tracking.
ActivityPub Protocol: Some users of services utilizing the ActivityPub protocol, like Mastodon, are cautious about Meta’s intentions and plan to block Threads’ instance due to fears of monopolization.
Content Moderation: Threads faced accusations of censoring conservatives and prompting users when attempting to follow certain voices. Meta attributed such incidents to errors.
However, Threads has faced some criticisms and concerns. Users have expressed dissatisfaction with the tight linkage between Threads and Instagram accounts, as deleting an Instagram account is necessary to delete a Threads account. Additionally, concerns have been raised regarding Meta’s tracking and profiling practices, as there is no option to disable such tracking on Threads.
Despite these concerns, Threads has quickly gained popularity and has the potential to become a significant player in the social media landscape. Its integration with Instagram and focus on real-time conversations make it an attractive platform for users seeking a new microblogging experience.
Threads presents a new microblogging experience, offering a platform for real-time conversations and sharing. With its integration with Instagram and an emphasis on public, text-based posts, Threads has quickly gained traction among users. While the platform faces some criticisms and concerns, its rapid user signups demonstrate its potential as a significant player in the social media landscape.