Threads: what is it and what can you use it for?

It’s safe to say things move quickly nowadays – we’re now at the stage where you can go to bed and wake up the next morning to find out that a new social media site launched overnight and already has 10 million users!

That’s what’s happened with Threads, a new platform launched by Meta. But what can you do with it and why does it seem to have taken the internet by storm?

What is Threads?

Threads is a direct competitor to Twitter made by Meta, the owners of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Like Twitter, Threads is a primarily text-based social media site centred around sharing opinions and starting conversations. Users can also include media like images and links in posts, as well as videos up to 5 minutes in length. Also in similar fashion to Twitter, you can reply to posts, like them, repost them to your followers’ feeds (with or without a comment of your own), and share posts across a wide variety of platforms.

How is Threads different to Twitter?

Right now, with Threads being newly launched, there are some differences between it and Twitter, despite the platforms’ sharing a very similar premise.

One of the immediate differences between Threads and Twitter is the character limits available on posts – Threads posts can be up to 500 characters in length, versus Twitter’s 280 character limit. As mentioned, several types of media can be included in a Threads post, such as images, videos and links.

Currently, there isn’t a trending topics page or hashtags, two characteristics that Twitter are largely credited for making commonplace in social media. This means that, for now, the search page includes a list of suggested accounts to follow in addition to the search bar. The search bar currently appears to be solely for finding accounts. This means all content you see will be in your main feed, either from people you follow or content from other accounts that Threads recommends for you.

In its current state, many users have compared Threads to older versions of Twitter due to the simplistic features, although you can expect more to be added as the platform grows.

What safety and privacy features are there on Threads?

If you or someone close to you is joining Threads, you may want to know more about the safety and privacy features available.

When signing up, you will be given the option to make a private profile, meaning you approve who can follow you and any content you share will only be visible to people who you allow to follow you. This also means that only your followers can like, share, or reply to your posts. In the UK, anyone under 18 who registers for an account will be put onto a private profile by default.

You also have control over who can reply to your posts and who can tag you in their posts. The options for both actions are to allow anyone, only people you follow, or nobody to do so. Whereas you can change the settings for replies on every post you make, your mention settings will remain the same in your account settings until changed.

There are also multiple settings you can use to filter out content you don’t want to see (by muting individual accounts or by hiding specific words or phrases from your feed) and to block people who you don’t want to be able to interact with you. You are also able to report accounts or content, should you need to at any time.

How do I join Threads?

You can download the Threads app on iOS or Android. As the app is powered by Instagram, you can seamlessly make a Threads account using an Instagram account, as you’re allowed to copy over details such as your username, profile picture and bio. Once that’s started, you’re all set.

I suppose this is the part where we say “Happy Threading” – and be sure to give SMARTY a follow while you’re at it! If you’re going to want some more data for all the time you’re about to spend on Threads, why not also check out great value SIM only deals? Right now, you can get a year of our Unlimited plan at just £18 a month – but hurry, this deal is available for a limited time only!

  • SMARTY Team
  • July 6th, 2023