• Threads allow 500-character messages and five-minute movies and photos. With a basic layout and features to like, comment, recirculate, and share conversations, the program mimics Twitter.
  • Instagram’s privacy limits are being extended to Threads, including the option to filter out particular terms in answers.

Threads, the Twitter competitor created by Meta after months of rumors, disclosures, and a billionaire cage match challenge between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, has finally arrived. This new platform can be accessed through Threads.net, or the app can be downloaded for iOS and Android.

In an interview about the Threads launch, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said, “Obviously, Twitter pioneered the space… but just given everything that was going on, we thought there was an opportunity to build something that was open and something that was good for the community that was already using Instagram.”

Users can create text-based posts of up to 500 characters and share images and videos of up to five minutes in length on Threads. The app looks like Twitter, which has a minimal interface and options to like, comment, repost, and share threads. Due to the close relationship between Threads and Instagram, you can enter with your Instagram username and effortlessly follow everyone you already follow on Instagram.

Like Instagram, the primary display on Threads includes recommended content and posts from individuals you follow. There does not appear to be an option to toggle between recommended and following-only content streams, as there is on Twitter, but Meta could introduce this feature in the future.

Instagram’s privacy limits are being extended to Threads, including the option to filter out particular terms in answers. You can also restrict the users who can reply to your threads to those you follow, everyone on the platform, or only those you mentioned in your post.

At inception, Threads support for ActivityPub is not included in Meta. The decentralized social networking protocol, also utilized by Mastodon, would make it possible, among other things, to transmit your data from Threads to another host.

Meta says, “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. 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.”

The introduction of Threads coincides with Twitter’s implementation of additional user restrictions, such as a temporary rate limit prohibiting unverified users from viewing more than 600 posts per day (or 300 posts for “new unverified” accounts). Before discreetly reversing the change and releasing a new version of TweetDeck that requires a verified subscription, Twitter prohibited logged-out users from viewing messages on the platform.