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Threads: Love it or hate it so far?

Last week, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, introduced a new player to the social media arena: Threads.

The app has been positioned as a direct competitor to Twitter and has gained significant traction quickly with lots of chatter on and offline about Threads and who is using it. Boasting an impressive five million sign-ups within its first four hours plus a user base of 30 million by Thursday morning. Notably, prominent figures and renowned brands such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Oprah, Kim Kardashian, HBO, NPR, Billboard, and Netflix swiftly joined the Threads community.

We’re currently testing it for our clients and checking the results compared to other platforms, but what exactly is Threads, how does it operate, and how can you obtain an account? Below, we delve into the details of this app that some are already touting as the “Twitter killer.”

What is Threads?

Threads is a free text-based conversation app, designed by Meta to serve as a platform “where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow. Whatever it is you’re interested in, you can follow and directly connect with your favorite creators and like-minded individuals—or cultivate a devoted following of your own to share your ideas, opinions, and creativity with the world.”

However, it’s clear that it’s been developed to compete with the same features the Twitter offers…

Who is using Threads so far?

A host of renowned personalities, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Shakira, Kim Kardashian, Oprah, Jennifer Lopez, and Gordon Ramsay, have already joined the Threads community.

How do I sign up for Threads?

To register for Threads, you will need an Instagram account. If you already have one, download the Threads app and follow the steps to create your Threads account.

Please note – threads.com is NOT Meta Threads by Instagram. Threads is not currently available for desktops.

Once you’ve completed the sign-up process, the app makes it simple for you to follow the same individuals you currently follow on Instagram, provided they are also using Threads. Alternatively, you can explore and connect with new users.

There’s a rumour going around that if you decide not to continue with your Threads account as you will be forced to delete your entire Instagram account as well. This is true, however, our testing has shown you can (at the time of posting this – 10th July 2023) instantly reactivate it without it being permanently deleted. It is a risk though so be careful that you really want to go there.

How similar is Threads to Twitter?

Frequent users of Twitter will immediately notice several resemblances between the two platforms. Both apps feature newsfeeds, heart-shaped symbols to express appreciation for others’ content (which is also on Instagram incidentally), and the ability to repost. Although there are a few differences in terminology—for example, “retweets” are called “reposts” and “tweets” are referred to as “threads”— these minor differences apparently mean Twitter is considering legal action.

Meta has not shied away from emulating features of rival products in the past. This is exemplified by the introduction of Instagram’s Reels feature in 2020, which bore striking similarities to TikTok. Mark Zuckerberg openly acknowledges that Threads is intended to rival Twitter and has expressed his vision of creating a public conversations app with over one billion users. In a Threads post, he stated, “It’ll take some time, but I think there should be a public conversations app with 1 billion+ people on it. Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it. Hopefully, we will.”

On Threads, posts can consist of up to 500 characters (compared to Twitter’s 280-character limit for most users) and videos up to five minutes in length can be shared. Additionally, posts can be easily shared as links on other platforms or directly to your Instagram story.

So the question is, have you tried Threads yourself? Do you love it or hate it?