Instagram Threads: A Step-By-Step Guide

July 21, 2023
by Joe Singh

In an effort to innovate and diversify its social media offerings, Meta, the parent company of Instagram, has developed a new standalone application, Instagram Threads. This platform emerges as an extension of the Instagram experience, leveraging the same user base and fundamental design principles but with a unique spin aimed at text-based communication.

Threads was masterminded by the Instagram team as a response to the growing demand for alternatives to Twitter — which has been especially high following Elon Musk’s controversial takeover. The inception of Threads highlights Meta’s knack for strategic adaptation in the face of evolving social media landscapes. This novel platform seeks to bridge the gap between photo-based sharing and text-centric communication, positioning itself as a direct competitor to Twitter.How to Use Threads

With every new social media platform, there’s typically a learning curve. However, Threads keeps its approach as straightforward as possible to limit confusion for its users and allow for seamless integration into Instagram feeds.

Step 1: Downloading the Threads App

First, you’ll need to download the Threads app. Go to the App Store or Google Play on your phone and search for “Threads, an Instagram app.” After you find it, download and install it on your device.

Instagram Threads download page on the App store
Step 2: Logging in to Threads

Open the Threads app and tap on the “Log in with Instagram” button at the bottom of the screen. Since an Instagram account is required to use Threads, you will be asked to follow people you follow on Instagram, making it a seamless transition.

Home page of Instagram Threads

Step 3: Navigating the App

Upon logging in, you’ll see your Threads feed, where you can view posts from the people you follow, as well as from random users. The navigation bar at the bottom of the screen will help you get around the app. Here’s what each icon does:

  • House icon: Brings you to your feed.
  • Magnifying glass icon: Takes you to a search page for finding other users.
  • Pen-and-paper icon: Opens up the option to create a new thread.
  • Heart icon: Displays your account activity, such as new followers and interactions.
  • Human figure icon: Takes you to your Threads profile.

Different Elements of the Threads App

Step 4: Creating a Thread

To create a Thread, tap on the pen-and-paper icon in the middle of the navigation bar. Thread posts are limited to 500 characters but can be supplemented with a photo, video, or GIF by pressing the paper clip icon below the text field.

Threads screen demonstrating how to create a thread
Step 5: Engaging with Other Users

You can engage with users by opening their threads and using the icons below the text:

  • Heart icon: Like the thread.
  • Dialog box icon: Reply to the thread.
  • Reverse symbol icon: Repost a thread to your feed with the option to add a quote.
  • Paper plane icon: Add the thread to your Instagram story or post it to your Instagram feed.

Picture of the threads feed with users engaged in conversation

Step 6: Adjusting Privacy Settings

Access your profile by tapping on the human figure icon. Then, click the “Edit profile” button. Here, you can adjust your privacy settings by selecting “Private profile” and choosing whether you want your profile to be public or private.

Privacy settings, found under "edit profile" on Threads
Step 7: Setting Time Limits

Threads offers a feature that sends reminders to take a break from the app. Access this by opening your profile and tapping the icon with two lines to open your account settings. Select the “Account” button and then find the “Take a break feature,” where you can choose a range of time limit options.

Will Deleting Threads Delete My Instagram or Facebook?

The relationship between Instagram, Threads, and Facebook can understandably cause some confusion. In brief, deleting the Threads app from your device will not delete your Instagram account or any content you’ve created or shared via Instagram.

Threads is an app that is powered by Instagram, allowing you to log in using your Instagram credentials and automatically follow the same accounts that you do on Instagram. But even though the two apps are connected, they are not the same. Each has its separate profile and settings.

When you decide to delete the Threads app from your device, your Threads profile and the content you’ve shared via Threads will remain intact. If you want to hide your profile and content from being visible on Threads, you can choose to deactivate your Threads profile.

How to Deactivate Your Threads Account

  1. Tap on your profile at the bottom right of the app screen to go to your profile page.
  2. Tap on the settings icon at the top right corner.
  3. Tap on “Account,” then select “Deactivate Profile.”
  4. Tap on “Deactivate Threads Profile” and confirm your decision.

Deleting Threads page

It’s important to note that deactivating your Threads profile is not the same as deleting it. Deactivation is a temporary measure, and you can only deactivate your profile once per week.

On the other hand, if you want to delete your Threads profile and its data permanently, you will need to delete your Instagram account, as Threads is powered by Instagram. Currently, the team behind Threads is exploring ways to allow users to delete their Threads profile separately without affecting the associated Instagram account.

Remember, the content shared on Threads will need to be deleted from the Threads app itself, as simply deleting the app won’t automatically remove this content.

When you delete or deactivate your Threads profile, it does not directly impact your Facebook account or its contents. Your actions on Threads are separate from your Facebook activities, hence, deleting Threads won’t affect your Facebook use. Always remember to manage each social media account separately in accordance with their specific settings and privacy policies.

Threads vs. Twitter: Similarities and Differences

Picture of Mark Zuckerberg superimposed on Instagram Threads next to a picture of Elon Musk superimposed over the twitter symbol
So, what’s the deal with this Threads vs. Twitter face-off? Let’s take a closer look.

Threads shot out of the gate like a racehorse, quickly gathering a staggering 100 million registered users within its first five days. This hot start marked it as the fastest-growing social media app ever. Quite a feat, right? But there’s more to the story than just impressive numbers.

Where Threads really shines is its impressive engagement stats. A study by Website Planet focused on 30 brands that were early adopters of Threads, and they found that a whopping 87% of these brands saw higher engagement levels on Threads compared to their Twitter accounts. Brands were experiencing an average of eight times more likes on Threads. It seems like Threads is not only winning the popularity contest but also nailing the engagement game.

However, Threads and Twitter are not identical twins. They may look somewhat similar at first glance, as both are microblogging platforms with text posts, links, and multimedia sharing. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll spot some key differences.

Twitter offers you the best of both worlds — an algorithmic timeline for personalized feeds and a real-time chronological feed for the freshest updates. Threads, conversely, leans fully into algorithm-driven content presentation, which some users love and others, like Twitter’s owner Elon Musk, have criticized.

The Threads team, led by Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, is focused on adding new features to their platform. Some of these features might feel familiar to Twitter users, such as a “following feed” and post search functionality. But, they’re also committed to keeping Threads unique and not turning it into a carbon copy of Twitter.

Ultimately, Threads vs. Twitter is a social media showdown that’s fascinating to watch. Both platforms have their strengths, and while Threads is the new kid on the block, it’s proving to be a formidable contender. Watch this space, because the Threads vs. Twitter rivalry is just heating up.

Looking Ahead: The Evolving Landscape of Social Media

As we navigate through the digital revolution, social media platforms continue to evolve and transform the way we communicate. With the introduction of Threads, a new competitor has stepped into the ring, vying for a slice of the social media pie.

While this article has given you a comprehensive guide on how to use Threads, the decision to switch to Threads or juggle multiple platforms will ultimately depend on your preferences and needs. Do you desire a text-based platform with the aesthetic feel of Instagram and Facebook? Then Threads might be your go-to. If you’re concerned about privacy or potential cross-platform conflicts, it’s important to understand how Threads is intertwined with your Instagram account and its relative independence from Facebook.

When it comes to Threads vs. Twitter, each platform offers unique features and experiences, making them better suited for different types of interaction. Twitter’s longstanding prominence in real-time news and updates is a tough act to follow. However, Threads’ rapid growth and high user engagement, coupled with its focus on iterative improvements and user-friendly experiences, suggests a promising future.

The Threads vs. Twitter debate is just one of many that highlight the dynamic nature of social media. It’s a testament to the constant innovation and change that drives this digital landscape. As existing platforms evolve and new ones emerge, users will be at the heart of these changes, shaping the future of social media through their preferences and interactions.

And as Threads continues to gain traction, it’s important to stay updated and adapt. Whether you’re a social media aficionado or a casual user, the digital world always has something new to offer. Embrace the change, explore Threads, and who knows, it could be your next favorite social networking app.

Happy Threading!


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