December 1, 2023

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What you need to know about Topics, Instagram’s new competitor to Twitter

What you need to know about Topics, Instagram’s new competitor to Twitter

Instagram Threads, a text-based social media platform poised to become Twitter’s latest competitor, is now available to users in over 100 countries.

The app, which was released on Wednesday evening, a day before its scheduled launch, allows users to register directly from their Instagram accounts. This means that once it is launched worldwide, Over 2 billion monthly active users May import their accounts into subjects.

Within just seven hours of launching, Thread has attracted at least 10 million subscriptions, including a growing number of celebrities, a spokesperson said. The spokesperson said Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Gordon Ramsay, Tom Brady and Coldplay were among those who signed up to the app early on.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on the new platform that he hopes to see the thread’s community grow to more than 1 billion members. He also took to Twitter for what appeared to be his first post in over a decade, sharing A popular Spider-Man meme seems to be a nod to the thread’s similarity to Twitter.

The app opens to a scrollable feed of short-form text limited to 500 characters per post, with the ability to add single or carousel photos and videos. Posts will include content from accounts that users follow, as well as from creators suggested by the platform’s recommendation algorithm. Viewers can interact by liking, commenting, reposting – including quoting a post – and participating in their Instagram story or feed.

View of the portable Threads interface.meta

While most of the features mimic those of Twitter, its user interface design is similar to Instagram, with the same heart, comment and share buttons and similarly placed tabs.

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Threads joins a growing list of platforms like Bluesky and Spill, as well as older competitors like Mastodon, that are looking to challenge Twitter’s dominance in the microblogging space.

Once signed in, new users with Instagram accounts are told that their accounts should keep the same usernames, but that they can create a different bio and link to their profiles. Verified Instagram users will take their checkmarks to threads, too. Users can then choose to bulk-follow all accounts they already follow on Instagram, which includes pre-following anyone who hasn’t yet joined the threads.

In his first thread, Zuckerberg wrote “Let’s do this. Welcome to Threads” using a fire emoji. It dates back to a couple of days ago, when it looked like some of the big names had early access.

Others on the app as of its launch Wednesday include Jennifer Lopez and Tom Brady, as well as brands like HBO and publishers like Teen Vogue.

Accounts that users have already blocked on Instagram will also be automatically blocked on Topics. Those who want to limit interactions can choose whether to allow replies from everyone, or only accounts they follow or mention — users tagged directly in a thread — only. They can also choose to limit themselves to only accounts they follow or disallow them altogether.

Threads will be enforced with Instagram Community Guidelines, and users can report violations to each other. Like on Twitter, users can choose to hide certain words or phrases from their feeds.

Prior to launch, Meta was reported to have given select creators early access to test its features and encourage people to join.

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View of the portable Threads interface.meta

At the moment, the application is not available in the European Union.

Meta is also making threads compatible with ActivityPub, a decentralized social networking protocol that is part of a new and up-and-coming movement, Sometimes called Fediversewhich allows information to flow between social media platforms and other services.

“This will make Themes interoperable with other apps that also support the ActivityPub protocol, such as Mastodon and WordPress — allowing for new types of connections that are not usable in most social apps today,” the company said in its blog post. Other platforms including Tumblr share plans to support the ActivityPub protocol in the future. “

If the protocol is implemented successfully, those who use threads will be able to follow and follow users from other platforms. A user’s feed on threads may display posts and accounts from Mastodon that the user can interact with without switching applications.

Other features in the works include direct messaging, trending topics, and an “improved” search function.

“Threads are for general conversations,” said Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram. Video ad. “We’re hoping to bring some of what we’ve created for Instagram photos and videos into Thread with text.”