Instagram Threads, The latest rival to Twitter
Threads Instagram-> Information about the app’s privacy via mandatory disclosures required on iOS shows the app may collect susceptible information about users to profile their digital activity — including health and financial data, precise location, browsing history, contacts, search history, and other sensitive information.
Given that Meta, the developer behind the app, the company formerly known as Facebook, makes its money from tracking and profiling web users to sell their attention via its behavioral advertising microtargeting tools this is hardly surprising. But it does raise questions over whether Threads will be able to launch in the European Union where the legal basis Meta had claimed for processing Facebook users’ personal data (performance of a contract) was found unlawful at the start of this year.
Introducing Threads: A New Way to Share with Text
Threads is a new app, built by the Instagram team, for sharing text updates and joining public conversations.
You log in using your Instagram account and posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes in length.
We’re working on Threads soon being compatible with the open, interoperable social networks that we believe can shape the future of the internet.
As Mosseri describes it, Threads is a “risky endeavor,” especially since it’s a new app people have to download. Meta has made the onboarding process easier by letting you auto-populate your account info and follow list from your Instagram, which I was able to do quickly after being granted access to Threads earlier today.
There’s no paid verification scheme that grants extra features, but Instagram’s blue checks will transfer to Threads accounts. Except for extreme cases like sharing child exploitation images, moderation actions taken by Meta against a Threads account won’t affect its associated Instagram account, as stated in internal documents I’ve reviewed.
Thanks to the deep ties between Threads and Instagram, you can quickly share posts from Threads to your Instagram story or feed. There’s also the ability to share links to Threads posts in other apps, which Mosseri predicts will be helpful as “we try to bootstrap it out from nothing.”
Meta has been busy this week onboarding a bunch of celebrities from the worlds of Hollywood, music, professional sports, business, and the like to Threads ahead of its public release. Celebs already spotted on the app include Karlie Kloss, Tony Robbins, Dana White, Gordon Ramsay, Ellie Goulding, Jack Black, Russell Wilson, and the Brazilian pop star Anitta.
Threads: Similarities and differences compared to Twitter?
Threads look nearly identical to Twitter in many ways. Users can post mostly text-based messages to a scrolling feed, where people who follow them and whom they follow can reply. People can also post photos or videos to the app.
But Threads is also different from Twitter. It does not currently support direct messaging, a feature that Twitter offers. Instagram said it may add features to Threads if new users ask for them.
How was Threads developed by Instagram?
Instagram has made a concerted effort to simplify its app over the past few years, Mr. Mosseri said. As part of that effort, he said, Threads was spun out into a separate app. That way, Instagram would not be too cluttered by trying to make public conversations work inside its existing app.
The choice to create a new app was also hard to resist, Mr. Mosseri added, especially at a tumultuous moment in the social media landscape.
“There was an opportunity or demand for more people to play in the public space,” he said, referring to the changes around Twitter under Mr. Musk. Mr. Mosseri added that the chance to challenge Twitter came about “not just because of the ownership, but because of product changes and decisions” that Mr. Musk and others made to how the social platform works.