What is Threads? Discover Instagram’s Latest App

It took Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, almost a year to fully acquire X (formerly known as Twitter). After gradually purchasing X’s stock, he eventually took over the platform’s company in late 2022 with a $44-billion deal. As one of the world’s top social media platforms is now owned by the world’s richest man, many think it’s unbeatable, but they might be wrong.

X users have experienced constant changes in app features. The most significant change has been the introduction of Twitter Blue – a monthly subscription service offering many of the previously free features. Users are publicly calling for Musk to resume the free features offering. 

As time passes, many users feel that the platform is no longer serving them. For example, free users can only view up to 1,000 tweets per day, while Twitter Blue users can view up to 10,000 tweets. Musk later reasoned that the new regulation was to help people who overly consume social media to live with a healthy balance, which caused outrage among users.

As negative criticism toward X and Musk grew widely, the situation created a promising opportunity for Meta (Facebook). You’ve probably seen the news about Musk and Mark Zuckerberg posting sarcastic messages about each other on social media. So it’s no surprise that Zuckerberg would build a service that could outshine X. Meta launched the Threads app, a text-based conversation platform, and quickly gained 100 million users on the 5th day.

If you have not yet downloaded the app, read on to learn more about its features and what difference it is making.

What is the Threads App?

What is Threads?

Threads is an app built by Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, which is connected to the Instagram app. Similar to X, Threads allows you to share text-based posts to generate conversation with others who share common interests. Users can also share photos and videos along with text to make posts more appealing. You can follow others or become a content creator yourself to attract followers.

X users will find Threads familiar and easy to use as it shares similar features, including status settings and reposting.

Adam Mosseri, Instagram’s Director of Product Management, stated that the main objective of Threads was to drive real-time communication and create an all-new community space. Instagram users can easily get started on Threads as they are connected. People you follow will be automatically added to your Threads account; however, you can still customise your friend list.


Threads vs X: What Are The Differences?

As X’s main competitor, Threads is expected to attract X users with its similar interface and features; however, it also differs in many ways.

  • Threads’ statuses allow up to 500 characters, while X’s allow up to 280 characters for free accounts and 4,000 characters for Twitter Blue accounts.
  • Users can post up to 5-minute videos on Threads, while you can post  10-minute long versions on X for free accounts and up to 1-hour long for Twitter Blue accounts.
  • As Threads is connected to Instagram, users can repost their Threads content automatically to their Instagram Story.
  • Threads doesn’t allow the sending of direct messages yet but is expected to launch it soon.
  • Threads users cannot save photos directly from others’ posts, yet.

How To Use Threads

  • Sign up for Instagram
  • Download the Threads app (from App Store and Play Store) and log in with the same account details you used for Instagram.
  • Set your profile by importing information from Instagram. You may change your profile picture but cannot change your profile name. 
  • Choose between a public or private account to allow followers to view your posts. If users are under 16 or 18 years old in some countries, their account might automatically be set as private.
  • If you have blocked someone on Instagram, it will automatically block those accounts on Threads as well.
  • Threads will also display timeline content from accounts you are not following but might be interested in.
  • Users are able to choose to allow specific people to mention them or reply to their posts, just like Instagram.


In a nutshell

Threads is a new social media platform that is expected to be X’s strongest rival. Amidst negative feedback widely shared against X and Elon Musk, Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg launched the application with similar features. From text-based posts to photos and video sharing, Threads users are able to easily engage in conversations. They can like, share, reply and repost the content just like on X. With user-friendly features, the app is greatly attracting both X and Instagram users.

Threads quickly gained over 100 million users within the first 5 days after launch, which is considered to be a phenomenon for social media growth. However, they then faced a dropped, as well as many unsubscribing from the app. Many users don’t want their Instagram account to be connected with Threads and share the same settings; therefore, they continue to use only X. It is hard to deny that X has been a ‘comfort zone’ for many users throughout the years. 

If Threads aims to achieve long-term success, it is best for it to present ground-breaking features that offer a better user experience rather than ‘being an X without Elon Musk’. 

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