What the tech? App of the Day: Threads

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(ABC 6 News) – Another week and another company launches a Twitter-type social platform. This time though, it’s Meta. The parent company of Facebook and Instagram released Threads, a micro-blogging platform that’s similar to Twitter (too similar according to Twitter).

Few apps garnered the hype and publicity of Threads in its first week in the app stores and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg boasts it has over 55 million users in just two days.

Questions about this app? Here’s what you need to know before FOMO (fear of missing out) forces you to download and install it:
• Threads is a separate Instagram app. You must have an Instagram account to sign up.
• Your Threads account is tied to your Instagram account.
• Your handle or username will be the same for both Threads and Instagram.
• Once installed, you cannot delete your Threads account without deleting your Instagram account.
• You can make it inactive and you can delete the app from your phone but you’ll still have an account.
• There is a 500-character limit.
• Threads can be liked and you can comment on them just like on Twitter. • There are no hashtags. You can use them but you can’t search for those hashtags to follow a discussion.
• There are no ‘trending topics’ which is a much-loved feature of Twitter. • You can follow other accounts unless the accounts are marked as ‘private’. Private Threads accounts will be asked to allow you to follow them.
• You can set your Threads account as private.
• There are no ‘feeds’ where you can see only Threads from people you follow.
• Threads that appear in your timeline are a mixture of people you follow and Threads Meta believes you’ll want to see based on its algorithm. Threads Privacy Policy is concerning.

According to the App Store description, Threads collects the following data and information from its users:
• Health & Fitness
• Financial Info
• Contact Info
• User Content
• Browsing History
• Usage Data
• Diagnostics
• Purchases
• Location
• Contacts
• Search History
• Identifiers
• Sensitive Info
• Other Data “Other” could be anything or everything.

Note, this is the same Privacy policy for both Instagram and Facebook. As for the missing features, Meta says it is working to add features to Threads which may include things Twitter users have come to love such as feeds, hashtags, and trending topics.

Threads is free for iPhone and Android devices. Free because Meta is earning revenue from users’ data for advertising. Threads by Instagram is rated for ages 12 years old and older.