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Instagram’s text-based social network, Threads, has surpassed 30 million signups just 16 hours after launch, Yuan CEO Mark Zuckerberg explain early Thursday. It’s also the No. 1 free app in Apple’s App Store as of Thursday morning.

The app is Meta’s answer to Twitter, which some users and advertisers have fled since billionaire Elon Musk bought the social media platform. On Saturday, Twitter began limiting the number of posts users can read each day to address “extreme levels of data scraping,” but that only further frustrated users.

A number of Twitter alternatives have emerged in recent months, including decentralized messaging app Mastodon and Bluesky, which is backed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. But neither platform can match Twitter’s user base and popularity.

Threads may be more attractive to users. It’s built on top of Instagram and automatically links to user accounts on the photo-sharing app. Initially, users will only be able to access the service through a roundabout way in the Instagram app. But starting Thursday, the app is available for download from the Apple App Store and is free to use.

How to use threads

Users need to have an Instagram account to use Threads. After downloading the app, it will prompt you to log in with your Instagram account. From there, Threads will automatically port your Instagram username, but you can still customize your profile.

Threads gives you the option to automatically follow all the same accounts you follow on Instagram, or just a few of them, so you don’t have to wade through Threads to find all your friends and followers.

Threads appear in a scrolling feed where users can like, reply, retweet, or quote other users’ threads.

what is missing

Threads may look a lot like its competitors, but it’s missing some key features.

The most glaring omission is Direct Messaging (DM). One-to-one private messaging is a hallmark of nearly every other major social media network, including Twitter and Meta’s own Instagram and Facebook. Threads launched without direct messaging, which could pose a problem for journalists, who often receive messages from potential sources, and for brands, which provide customer service through social media messaging.

The topic feed pulls posts from all users, not just those you follow. Finding content posted by users or brands you follow can be difficult, and as of now, there’s no way to change how the feed loads.

Like Instagram, Threads doesn’t offer posts in chronological order. Content is obviously ranked algorithmically and served to users regardless of when it was published.

There are no paid ads in Threads yet. Still, many brands have jumped on board. Instagram head Adam Mosseri, who is overseeing the new app, said: edge If Threads can scale, advertising will be a “champagne problem.”

Threads also lack the ability to include hashtags in posts. Hashtags are a core feature of Twitter that allow users to easily discover posts on a particular topic and display trending content in one place. Likewise, Threads doesn’t have a feature that allows users to search for specific text or phrases.

Another key difference is that Threads doesn’t have a desktop website, so you can only access the service through the iOS or Android app.

There is also one major downside to Threads’ association with Instagram.Currently, yuan explain You cannot delete your Threads account without deleting your Instagram account.

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