Introduction: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta (formerly Facebook), recently announced the launch of Threads, a new app developed by the Instagram team. Threads aims to provide users with a dedicated space for real-time updates and public conversations, expanding Instagram’s popular features to text-based content. Additionally, Threads aims to be compatible with open and interoperable social networks, offering a glimpse into the future of online platforms.
A Seamless Transition from Instagram:
Threads makes it effortless for Instagram users to join the app. By logging in with their existing Instagram accounts, users can carry over their usernames and verification. Furthermore, users have the option to customize their profiles specifically for Threads, allowing for a personalized experience within the app.
Creating a Positive and Creative Space:
Instagram’s success as a platform for sharing photos and videos has inspired Threads to take the same essence and apply it to text-based content. The vision behind Threads is to foster a positive and creative environment where users can freely express their ideas. Users can follow and connect with friends and creators who share their interests, both within the Instagram community and beyond.
Features and Accessibility:
Threads offers a range of features similar to Instagram while adding new elements. Users can follow accounts they already follow on Instagram and discover new content from creators who align with their interests. Posts on Threads can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes in length. The app also integrates Instagram’s core accessibility features, such as screen reader support and AI-generated image descriptions, ensuring inclusivity for all users.
Controlling Conversations and Ensuring Safety:
Threads includes robust tools to promote positive and productive conversations. Users can control who can mention them or reply to their posts, as well as filter out replies containing specific words. Safety measures, including the ability to unfollow, block, restrict, or report profiles, are available on Threads. Instagram’s Community Guidelines will be enforced within the app, as Meta remains committed to ensuring user safety and maintaining integrity within their platforms.
Interoperability with ActivityPub:
One of the exciting aspects of Threads is its plan to become compatible with ActivityPub, an open social networking protocol established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This compatibility will enable Threads to interact with other apps supporting ActivityPub, such as Mastodon and WordPress. This interoperability opens up new possibilities for connections and expands the reach of users’ content across diverse platforms.
Advantages of Interoperable Networks:
Integrating ActivityPub protocol into Threads signifies a shift toward decentralized and open social networking. Developers will have the freedom to build innovative features and user experiences that seamlessly integrate with other open social networks. Each app can establish its own community standards and content moderation policies, empowering users to choose platforms aligned with their values. This decentralized approach, akin to the protocols governing email and the web, holds the potential to shape the future of online platforms.
A Community-Driven Future:
Threads is Meta’s first app that aims to be compatible with an open social networking protocol. This move signifies Meta’s commitment to join the fast-growing ecosystem of interoperable services, providing users with the ability to find their community regardless of the app they use. Public profiles on Threads will allow posts to be accessible from other apps, facilitating effortless connections and expanding the user base. For private profiles, users will have the control to approve followers and maintain a personalized experience similar to Instagram.
Threads is being rolled out in more than 100 countries for both iOS and Android. In the future, Threads plans to introduce new features to enhance user experience, including improved recommendations in the feed and a more robust real-time search function. The app’s development will continue to focus on user feedback, introducing exciting ways for users to connect and engage.
With the launch of Threads, Instagram users now have access to a dedicated space for sharing text-based content. Threads aims to provide a positive and creative environment while offering familiar features from Instagram. The app’s commitment to interoperability through the ActivityPub protocol demonstrates a move towards a decentralized future, empowering users with greater control over their online experiences. As Threads continues to evolve, it holds the potential to revolutionize the way people connect and engage on social media platforms.