What is Thread? Meta’s Twitter Rival: Everything You Need to Know.
Meta has officially launched a Twitter rival. Everyone is talking about the thread. At this point, you may be wondering, “What is Thread?” Meta already owns some of the most popular social media platforms, including WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. Thread is not an independent app like other Meta platforms; however, the company has already trademarked the entity.
The thread was expected to be announced later. However, since Meta decided to launch the thread ahead of the scheduled date due to Twitter making many of its services and app functionalities behind paywalls, Mark Zuckerberg launched the app earlier. Thread attracted over 80 million sign-ups in less than two days since its launch. Since Musk acquired Twitter last year, the company did get some massive backlash from their employees because of layoffs, but also from users as the company aggressively made features behind paywalls.
Twitter previously had competitors like Mastodon and Bluesky, but they need the infrastructure and backing like Meta for Thread. The company managed to pull everything off and deliver it with stability, as we have seen no outages. At the same time, after the launch of Thread, Twitter somehow managed to have an outage, which is quite similar to Reddit, where pages were on the protest because of API pricing hikes, and they also managed to have an outage at the worst possible timing.
Thread: Instagram’s Rival App to Twitter
Meta is directly competing against Twitter. The app has been in development since March, and its codename is “Barcelona,” which is still true as the app’s Playstore link suggests the same. The Thread app already has some prominent figures and companies, allowing them to import their following and set up their profiles directly from Instagram since it is an Instagram app.
The thread is more focused on conversation rather than Instagram’s visuals. Some have shared their thoughts that Meta is trying to make Instagram what it used to be, while others say it is the hardware of Twitter with Instagram software.
To ensure guidelines and avoid spam, the company utilises Instagram’s underlying technology to monitor and ensure a positive environment. Meta has copied someone else’s idea before. The company has a long history of implementing other popular app features, and they have successfully integrated Snapchat’s Stories across its platform and TikTok’s Vertical Short video into Instagram Reels. They still need to replicate some features like Poke from Snapchat and IGTV from YouTube, and thread was also a thing, but they have shut it down and are now rebranding it as Twitter’s competitor.
What are Threads?
In simple language, it is a text-based conversation app where comments are the most important part. As the discussion is the app’s main focus, anyone can discuss, share, re-share, and quote their thoughts, just like Twitter in a thread post. The app is available to everyone around the globe except the EU because of privacy concerns. Download the app from the Google Play Store on Android or the App Store for iOS.
The app was initially released to a handful of Instagram users in 2019 but was taken down and integrated into Instagram’s DMs. It was supposed to be introduced as a camera-first messaging app allowing Instagram users to share updates and chats with their close friends. However, it was discontinued in December 2021 and is now rebranded as Thread, a rival to Twitter.
These kinds of services are well-known as microblogging platforms, and some of the popular services are Twitter and Weibo. The company started working on the thread earlier in January 2023 with Project 92, and later the app started emerging as a handful of users started testing the app. With the launch of Thread on June 5 in 100 countries, it became an instant hit as Twitter users and others have been trying to find a Twitter alternative like Mastodon, Tumblr, and Hive Social. We werThewas perfect because the company has limited the use of Twitter, as free users can only view 600 posts a day, which is not enough, especially for those who seek information.
How to Sign Up for Threads
You do not need to create a new account to use Threads; you can continue with your existing Instagram account.
- Download the Threads app on your device.
- Launch the app. If you already have the Instagram app installed, it will suggest you continue with your logged-in Instagram account. Otherwise, enter the Instagram account you want to continue with.
- Next, it will ask you to set up your Threads account. You can edit it as you like or directly import your Instagram data for your profile and bio.
- You can’t edit usernames from Threads. To change your username on Threads, change your Instagram username, which will also be changed on Threads.
- Now, it will show you all the accounts you follow. If you want to follow all the accounts you have followed on Instagram, click “Follow all” or choose the ones you want to follow.
- That’s it! Now you can start using the Threads app on your mobile.
There is more to come, as Instagram has a massive user base of 2.35 billion, and by making this a more seamless experience, the company will be able to pull it off.
Note: You can only deactivate your Threads account after creating it. If you want to delete your Threads, account, you need to delete your Instagram account.
How to Use Thread, an Instagram App
With its minimalist user interface, it won’t be an issue for anyone to get used to thread. It is easier if you have used the Twitter app in the past or are currently using it.
- First, there is a post section where you can write text and add images/videos to post things online.
- Another thing is the feed. It currently has a chronological feed, but the company is promoting a dedicated space where you can check posts exclusively from those you follow.
- Another thing is managing the people you follow and unfollow.
- Lastly, there are the comment, repost, and sharing functions. It does have a share functionality directly to Instagram, as we have seen people share screenshots of Twitter posts on Instagram, but it is even easier with thread.
The app could be better. There are many features that the app lacks, such as exploring trending topics news, which Twitter is primarily used for, managing multiple accounts, and it also does not exist as a web app yet, so it will not allow you to use it on a browser. Even the thread does not have a following timeline. As we mentioned, the app was launched earlier than its scheduled release, which means it is still under development, but Zuck’s decision overrode the schedule.
You also cannot send DMs. For DMs, use Instagram’s DMs, and there is no decentralised social network support. However, the CEO of Instagram said they are making ActivityPub Protocol support with the future release of Instagram updates.
Differences Between Thread and Twitter
These are the differences between Thread and Twitter for free users. Twitter Blue service does offer verifications, editing, long posts and videos, and some organisations are also verified.
Twitter threatens to sue Meta due to the similarities between Thread and Twitter. Some wording changes have made it feel more like a Meta app instead of X.corp’s Twitter.
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Thread Privacy Concerns
Many privacy experts have raised this. Authorities have stated that the app is taking much important information that does not seem relevant yet, since the app does not serve ads. However, the app will be monetised once it reaches 1 billion users. Additionally, it is an Instagram app, and we have a long history of how Meta manages ads.
It remains to be seen if Thread can completely replace Twitter, but Meta has a long history of replacing and integrating features from others into their own app and giving it their own spin-off.
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