Threads, the Twitter competitor created by Meta, has finally arrived after months of rumors, leaks, and a billionaire cage fight challenge between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. Now you can access the new platform from its desktop site at Threads.net or by downloading the app for iOS and Android.
On Threads, you can create text-based posts with up to 500 characters, as well as share photos and videos up to five minutes long. The app looks relatively similar to Twitter, featuring a minimal interface with the options to like, comment, repost, and share threads. Since Threads is closely tied to Instagram, you can log in with your Instagram username and easily follow all the same people you follow on the other platform.
Similar to Instagram, the main feed on Threads contains both recommended content and posts from people you follow. It doesn’t look like there’s an option to switch between streams of recommended and following-only content like there is on Twitter, however, but that’s always something Meta could add later.
Meta is extending some of Instagram’s privacy controls to Threads as well, such as the ability to filter out certain words in replies. You can also limit who can reply to your threads to everyone on the platform, people you follow, or only the users who you mentioned in your post.
Meta isn’t including Threads support for ActivityPub at launch. The decentralized social networking protocol, also used by Mastodon, would make it possible to transfer your information from Threads to another host, among other things.
“We believe this decentralized approach, similar to the protocols governing email and the web itself, will play an important role in the future of online platforms,” Meta says. “Threads is Meta’s first app envisioned to be compatible with an open social networking protocol — we hope that by joining this fast-growing ecosystem of interoperable services, Threads will help people find their community, no matter what app they use.”
Meta is launching Threads in over 100 countries, including the US, but it won’t be available in the European Union to start. According to The Guardian, the company delayed the launch of the app in the EU to ensure it complies with the EU’s strict privacy regulations.