Instagram Meta Threads: Artists Flock To Twitter Rival As App Launches Today

6 July 2023 | 1:15 pm | Jessie Lynch

Here's everything you need to know about Twitter's biggest rival, Threads.

Instagram Threads

Instagram Threads (Supplied)

It's no secret that social media giant Twitter has been circling the drain since its tumultuous takeover by controversial figure, Elon Musk.

But now, social media users have been offered a new alternative: their latest up, Instagram Threads, a microblogging app owned by Instagram's parent company Meta. 

The app, dubbed "Twitter Killer" by some, is a text-based version of Meta’s photo-sharing app Instagram that the company says provides “a new, separate space for real-time updates and public conversations” and has launched on both Apple's App Store and Google Play.

While the app has only launched today (July 6), users are already flocking to the app in droves, with artists such as Cut CopyAdrian DzvukeLalkaKitty Rae, Arty ZiffSpiritbox, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Amyl And The Sniffers, Shakira, Billie Joe ArmstrongGwen Stefaniamong the slew of artists who have jumped on board the platform.

According to Mark Zuckerberg, who posted on Threads today, two million people had registered on the platform in just the first two hours of launching, with early adopter Richard Branson posting: “Thready, steady, go …"

Even Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has jumped on board, kicking off with a cheeky Thread that read, "Everyone alright to go?"

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But what exactly is Threads and how does it compare to Twitter? We've rounded up all the info you need to know about the new social media platform below.

What Is Threads? 

Similar to Twitter, Threads offers users a similar microblogging experience, with posts being able to include links, photos and videos up to five minutes long as well as featuring buttons to like, repost, reply, reshare or quote a “thread.”

Instagram users will be able to log in with their existing user names and follow the same accounts on the new app - though new users will be required to sign up from an Instagram account.

“Our vision is that Threads will be a new app more focused on text and dialogue, modelled after what Instagram has done for photo and video,” the company said of the new app.

How Is It Different To Twitter?

Well, aside from being the current dumpster fire we're seeing currently burn on Twitter, Threads differs from the OG microblogging site in a couple of small ways. 

For one, Threads does not seem to use hashtags and does not have a feature that allows users to search for specific text or phrases, however, it also allows users to share up to 10 photos in a single post (much like Instagram) as opposed to Twitter’s four-image limit.

As well as this, posts on Threads are limited to 500 characters - which is significantly more than Twitter’s 280-character limit.

What About Security And Privacy Issues?

Meta - particularly Facebook - has drawn a fair amount of criticism in the past for their lax behaviour when it comes to security and privacy issues.

As per CBC News, critics have already pointed out that the new Threads app has access to a plethora of user data, with its App Privacy description on the Apple AppStore providing a list of personal data it may collect on users, including:

  • Health and fitness
  • Financial information
  • Contacts
  • Browsing history
  • Purchases
  • Location
  • Sensitive information

In saying that, Twitter appears to collect a similar amount of data from its users, except when it comes to health and fitness, financial info and sensitive info.

The co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, has also voiced concerns about the app in a Twitter post showing a screenshot of the App Store listing, which displayed the app's data requirements. 

Dorsey tweeted, "All your Threads are belong to us." Elon Musk, too, joined him and commented on the post, “Yeah".

According to the Irish Independent, Threads will not launch in the EU today alongside the rest of the world to more stringent privacy regulations in the 27-nation union.

Aaron Mendes, CEO and co-founder of PrivacyHawk, commented on the privacy concerns, saying that disclosing user data is common practice for most apps.

“The Threads App is just disclosing all the same data they *might* collect in their primary apps, Instagram and Facebook. It doesn’t mean they collect it on every person," he said. 

"It depends on how you use the app and what you give them access to. But it is a reminder of the depth of data Meta collects on its users and that you are the product when you use any of their services.”