After months of leaks, Mark Zuckerberg has today announced their newest social media platform, Threads from Instagram.

According to Meta, Threads is ‘a new, separate space for real-time updates and public conversation’. The app will give Instagram users a place to share text – up to 500 characters – but you’ll also be able to share photos, as well as videos up to five minutes long. 

Threads is intrinsically linked to your Instagram acccount so when you login to Threads, your profile – including your verification if you have it – is imported and you’ll be given an option to have a private or public profile. Users under the age of 16 will find their accounts automatically set to private. The login process is also where you’ll be given the option to choose which accounts from your Instagram feed you want to follow.

Your Threads feed will comprise posts from these accounts, as well as ‘recommended content’ from people you don’t. The good news, for now at least, is that Threads is free from any ads, though that will change as the focus shifts from building a user base, as well as building features into the app. 

Once you’re in the app you can create new Threads which you can then cross post your Instagram Feed & Stories, and share your Thread as a link on any other platform, even Twitter if you want. 

While Meta aren’t saying anything about how Threadstacks up to Twitter, the comparison is there. We’ve seen a number of changes at Twitter over the past year since Elon Musk took the reigns, with some those changes encouraging some Twitter users to look for alternatives, something Meta would love to capitalise on. Some of those users have been looking to migrate to platforms including Mastadon which is a decentralised social media platform built on the open social networking protocol ActivityPub.

While Threads is launching in an insular capacity initially, Meta says they’ll be working to build in interoperability with ActivityPub and inviting all those platforms including Mastadon to feed in, though Meta will be announcing more on just how this will look in terms of ads, content moderation and more when they implement this.

The vibe of Threads is positive though, with more control being given to users to control who can follow them, or see their replies. When you sign in, any accounts you’ve previously blocked on Instagram will also be blocked on Threads. You can also choose to unfollow, block, restrict or report a profile on Threads by tapping the three-dot menu.

2 phone screens showing Hidden Words and Mentions controls in Threads

The Threads app is now live for both Android and iOS users on both Google Play and in the iOS app store. There is a basic web interface to view Threads though the app is the focus for now, however we may see more work on this in the future.