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What is Threads and should you sign up? Here are the answers to your burning questions

what is threads

Who knew when we woke up this morning that it was going to be such a big day for the girlies in social media! But let's be honest, Zuck and the Meta crew have never known a minute of peace in their lives, so here we are with the newly announced Threads. Announced via the Creators Instagram account on 6 July, the new app seemingly wants to fill the Twitter-shaped hole in our hearts (pre-Musk takeover of course). But it's no doubt that many of you are probably wondering what Threads actually is, and most importantly, whether you should be using it.

Here, we breakdown what we know about the new social media app so far.

What is Threads?

As described by Instagram directly, Threads has been launched with the intention of creating "a new, separate space for real-time updates and public conversations." In a roundabout way, it's essentially an iteration of Twitter, crafted by Meta. Similarly to Instagram, users will be able to connect with and follow friends and creators with similar interests, with the intention of creating like-minded communities.

In addition to the accounts you follow, whose posts will appear on your feed, the app will also recommend content from new creators who haven't discovered yet. Most importantly, Threads has been fitted out with tools that will help enable positive, productive conversations. There are controls in place that allow users to control who can mention them or reply to their account within Threads, and you can also add hidden words to filter out replies to your threads that contain specific words or terms. In addition to the usual measures like unfollowing, blocking, restricting and reporting accounts, any accounts that you already have blocked on Instagram will automatically be blocked on Threads, too.

How does it work and how do you sign up?

Setting up your Threads account is incredibly easy. All you need is your existing Instagram account, which will automatically transfer over and replicate the setup of your account. You can also choose to follow all the accounts you do already on Instagram, or can opt out for a fresh start and fresh feed if you wish. Users have the option to also have a public or private account (similar to Instagram), so you can decide who can see what you post and who follows you too.

In terms of how posting on the app works, posts can be up to 500 characters long and can include links, photos and videos up to five minutes in length. You can easily repost or quote another user's Thread, as well as sharing Threads posts to your Instagram story, or share your post as a link to any other platform you use.

Should you be using Threads?

So, now that we know a little bit more about what Threads is and how to use, the big question remains – should you sign up to the app? If you’re a creator or someone who monetises your Instagram following, it’s a good idea to get an account. As we have seen in the past, Instagram has tied reach and growth to engagement with its new innovations, similarly to what we saw with the launch of Reels. As we now know, it's virtually impossible to grow your platform on Instagram without posting video content, and we could see a similar reality with the introduction of Threads.

From a different perspective, it's no secret that Twitter's demise is imminent, with new restrictions on posting and app-interaction capabilities being announced on what feels like a monthly basis. If Threads is able to recreate the original intentions and attractions of Twitter, there is definitely some promise here for what Threads is capable of. But for now, we'll just have to watch this space.

Have you signed up yet? Follow @russhmagazine on Threads, now.

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