Meta’s launch of the Threads microblogging app couldn’t have come at a better time. If you want to try out the social media service, here’s how to sign up for and use Threads right now.
How to Sign Up for Threads
Meta’s Threads app is built on and deeply integrated into the Instagram network. Unlike Twitter, Threads is not a standalone service, so you’ll need an Instagram account to get started.
If you don’t have an Instagram account, here’s how to sign up for an Instagram account and set up your profile.
Once that’s done:
- Install the Threads app for Android or iOS.
- After installing and launching the app, you’ll be prompted to log in with your Instagram account. If you can’t find any Instagram account listed on the Threads login screen, ensure you are logged into Instagram on your current device, and then relaunch the Threads app.
- Once you’ve seen and selected an Instagram account to use, you’ll be prompted to customize your Threads profile. Your username is imported from your Instagram account.
- You can add a bio or a custom link on your Threads profile, or you can alternatively tap the Import from Instagram button to import your profile data from Instagram.
- Up next is the privacy option screen. Here you can make your Threads profile public or private, depending on your preference. Your Threads privacy option can be different from your Instagram privacy option. Select either Public profile or Private profile to continue.
- On the next screen, you’ll be prompted to follow the same accounts you follow on Instagram. You can either select individual accounts you wish to follow on Threads or tap Follow all to follow all the accounts you are already following on Instagram.
After this, your Threads account is set up and ready to go. You’ll likely get a welcome screen telling you about how Thread works, simply click through to access your Threads timeline. Now that you’re on your Threads, how do you use the shiny new app?
How to Use Threads
Threads is quite similar to Twitter. The unmistakable similarities have made some people on the platform joke about how Mark Zuckerberg simply copy-pasted the app. However, Threads and Twitter don’t work the same way. Once you’ve set up your Threads account and are ready to send out your first post, here’s how to get started.
How to Create a Post on Threads
To create a Threads post, follow these steps:
- From anywhere on the Threads app, simply tap the Create icon on the center bottom of your screen to reveal the thread creation screen.
- Start typing in the text area. If your text doesn’t fit in the text area, simply tap on Add to thread to create a new text block. There is a 500-character limit for Threads posts.
- Tap on Anyone can reply in the bottom left corner of your thread creation screen to select who can reply to your threads. You can limit replies to only people you follow, people you mention, or leave it open to anyone which is the default option.
- Hit Post in the bottom right corner to publish your post.
How to Change Your Username and Profile Picture on Threads
If you want to change your Threads username or profile picture, there’s currently no way to do so independently on the app itself. Since your Thread profile is tethered to your Instagram account, you’ll need to change your Instagram username or change your profile picture on Instagram to achieve the same change on Threads.
How to Follow and Unfollow Users on Threads
Once you’ve joined Threads, your timeline might seem a bit out of place. You could get bombarded with the same set of people you’ve been interacting with on Instagram, making it feel a bit like the same wine in a different bottle. Or, you may be dealing with too many unfamiliar accounts. Of course, there’s a fix for this—follow more accounts that you want to see on your timeline.
To follow accounts on Threads:
- Tap the search icon at the bottom of your screen
- Follow any of the listed accounts on the search page or type the name of whichever account you wish to follow to search and follow the account.
Threads: Real Competition for Twitter
While several apps have sort to take advantage of the lapses created by Elon Musk’s tumultuous reign as Twitter boss, very few enjoy the financial backing and publicity that Meta has created for Threads.
It is already showing signs of becoming the first real challenge to Twitter’s dominance in the microblogging space. How well will it fare against Twitter? Only time will tell.