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The Threads FAQ

Icon for Threads app.
The icon for the Threads app.

The frequently asked questions

What is “Threads?”

Screenshot of Threads, as seen on my phone.
A screenshot from Threads, as seen on my iPhone.

Threads is a newly-released social media app created by Meta (the company behind Facebook and Instagram). It’s a direct competitor of Twitter.

Meta is promoting it as “Instagram’s text-based conversation app;” I’ve heard it referred to as “Instagram for words,” and I like to think of it as “Twitter, but with your Instagram social graph.”

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How many people have joined Threads?

Picture of crowd with the caption “10 million in the first 7 hours”

According to Mark Zuckerberg, 10 million people signed up for Threads in the first 7 hours.

This makes Threads the fastest-adopted app. It took Instagram over two months to hit the 1 million user mark, and even ChatGPT didn’t achieve 10 million users until 40 days after its launch.

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What do I need to join Threads?

Instagram icon.

You need two things: an Android or iOS smartphone, and an Instagram account.

This leads to the next question…

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Why do you need an Instagram account to join Threads?

The simple reason is that it’s an extension of Instagram. You use your Instagram credentials to log in, and your Instagram contacts are automatically part of your Threads social network.

The usefulness of a social networking application is directly proportional to the number of users — the more, the better. By “piggybacking” it on Instagram — a social network with over 2.35 billion monthly active users — they solve this problem.

The Instagram connection also provides another advantage: you don’t have to create another set of login credentials, you can start with your established Instagram handle.

You’ll also start with a network of connections made up of your Instagram friends, meaning that you’re not starting from scratch, as you’d have to on other networks like Bluesky or Mastodon.

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How do I get Threads?

You need to install the Threads app (it’s free of charge) onto your phone.

You can use the QR code below to install the app — you’ll be directed to the correct store for your phone:

Threads QR code

If you’re on Android, you’ll find it on Google Play — either follow this link, or search for “Threads Instagram”.

Threads, as seen on Google Play on my Android Phone.
Threads, as seen on Google Play on my Android Phone.

If you’re on iOS, you’ll find it on the App Store — either follow this link, or search for “Threads Instagram”.

Threads, as seen on Google Play on my iPhone.
Threads, as seen on Google Play on my iPhone.

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How long can a post in Threads be?

500 characters

A post in Threads — a “thread,” as they’re called — can be up to 500 characters in length.

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How long can a video in Threads be?

A video posted to Threads can be up to 5 minutes in length.

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Are there any “gotchas” in Threads?

Admiral Ackbar from “Star Wars” saying “It’s a trap!”

Here’s an interesting “gotcha:” according to Meta’s privacy policy, the only way to delete your Threads profile is to delete your Instagram account. That’s how deeply interconnected the two are.

The moral of the story? You want to be really sure that you want to join Threads before you sign up.

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What’s the Threads experience like?

Ke$sha’s Tik Tok — when “Tik Tok” was a song title and not an app — was the number one hit in 2010.

My favorite single-sentence summary is from Casey Newton, author of the tech newsletter Platformer and co-host of the podcast Hard Fork, who wrote in his review of Threads:

It’s basically Twitter in 2010, in other words, with one nice feature that has been added since then: the quote-tweet, which Mastodon has avoided adding but turns out (I think) to be an essential feature of the modern-day Twitter experience.

Another good summary comes from Daniel Cura of Tampa’s Tidal Marketing:

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