Written for the New Zealand Institute of Education (NZIE) in July 2023

Threads is a Twitter (“ahem” I mean X.com) clone app, developed by Meta’s Instagram team, that can be used for sharing text updates. You log in using Instagram; create text posts that are up to 500 characters in length, and can include links, photos, and video. Just like on Instagram, you’ll be able to follow and connect with friends and creators who share your interests. Meta says, with Threads, it wants to “take what Instagram does best and expand that into text.”

If you haven’t heard of Threads yet you have “sew” been out of the loop! Check out these nine delightful facts about this new social media platform.

#1. Threads wants you to be happy.

According to a study early last year Twitter topped the list of ‘most toxic apps’, with users saying it had the most trolls, and people were afraid to post about certain topics for fear of negative feedback. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently posted, “The vision for Threads is to create an open and friendly public space for conversation. We hope to take what Instagram does best and create a new experience around text, ideas, and discussing what’s on your mind.”However, Twitter now X owner, Elon Musk shared his opinion on this, tweeting “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram.”

#2. 1, 2, 3, 4, I declare a Twitter war.

Musk has reportedly threatened to sue Meta already and suggested that he and Zuckerberg should have a literal dick-measuring contest in a tweet he posted in early July, to which he added a ruler emoji. In another tweet, he also wrote “Zuck is a cuck” which is a derivative term describing a weak man, or one whose wife is unfaithful.

#3. It had 30 million sign-ups in the first 24 hours.

Within four hours of launching, Zuckerberg posted that 5 million people had registered for the platform, and within five days 100 million people had signed up for the app. In response to a question of whether Threads could become bigger than Twitter, Zuckerberg wrote, “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.”

#4. If you delete Threads, you delete Instagram.

Because Threads is powered by Instagram, if you want to delete your Threads profile, you have to delete your Instagram account. However, you can deactivate it. The Instagram Help Center has said they’re looking at ways to allow users to delete their Threads profile separately.

#5. You can’t use #hashtags.

At present, you can’t use #hashtags on Threads, as the platform doesn’t allow users to search for specific content. Currently, the only way to discover new content on the platform is what the Meta algorithm serves up. It’s unclear whether this will change, however, Zuckerberg did post a thumbs-up emoji in response to a question from YouTuber Marques Brownlee asking if the “big bosses on here are actively listening” – suggesting he’s open to feedback.

#6. You can’t slide in someone’s DMs.

Currently, the app doesn’t include any direct messaging features.

#7. They haven’t turned on promotion yet.

Meta hasn’t turned on the promotion tools yet, but they did release some tips on how to maximise your Threads engagement. This included things like announcing you’re using Threads, starting a conversation, and using puns ­– reportedly because puns and comedy are performing well on the app.

#8. It’s not currently available in the EU.

Threads is not yet available in the European Union, because of regulatory concerns. Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri told The Verge the Threads launch didn’t include the EU because of “complexities with complying with some laws coming into effect next year.”

#9. Meta is still trying to sort out the algorithm.

At the moment, the Threads feed is populated by random users’ accounts, rather than by people you choose to follow. Threads is planning on adding an alternative home feed to allow users to see posts from accounts they follow, rather than content chosen by the Threads’ algorithm.

Should your brand be on Threads yet? It’s still early days, but some major brands have already adopted the platform to build a strong follower base. Like any social media platform, brands will want to be where their users are. So, if your audience is on Threads, you’ll want to be there too.

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