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Instagram Threads

Did you know that there’s a new Twitter in town? Launched by Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp-parent Meta on July 5, Threads is a text-based public conversation app that was built by the team behind the photo-sharing app Instagram. Both iOS and Android users in over 100 countries could access the app this week. Attracting around 70 million sign-ups in just two days, the response reportedly stunned even Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Threads is part of a user’s Instagram account. Threads users will need to sign up through Instagram, and can cross over with their original username and the accounts they were following on Instagram. A number of settings such as blocking, restricting users, and hiding words are synced between the two platforms. 

Though Threads is still in its early days, Meta plans to make it compatible with the open social networking protocol Activity

Pub, so that Threads could one day work with platforms such as the decentralised social media site Mastodon and the content management system and website-builder WordPress.

Just how similar is Threads to Twitter? Threads is similar to Twitter in terms of its user interface and basic features. Threads users can make posts and comment in response. They can also heart posts, repost and quote them, or share posts on Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms. Threads posts can go up to 500 characters and include media such as links, pictures, and videos which are up to five minutes long.

News organisations and other professionals often rely on Twitter for instant updates and official statements or comments. However, Threads does not yet support the keyword searches which are necessary for these users. Threads also does not display trends in the way Twitter does.

For the moment, Meta’s new app feels like a familiar mix of both Instagram and Twitter’s most recognisable features. Threads does not have advertisements yet. It remains to be seen how the platform will evolve in response to user and advertiser demands.