Discover everything you need to know regarding Threads’s privacy and security concerns. The platform breaks the world record and becomes the fastest-growing platform in the world, but the reason behind its success is Twitter’s downfall. From Threads data collection to account deletion, we’ve covered everything. Read our complete guide to learn more.
Threads spread the boom in the world after its launch on July 5, 2023. Every second social media users talk about its launch, over a million joined this app within an hour. The early success of this social media app is due to perfect timing when Twitter was struggling, but Threads offers the quality that social media users need.
As users drastically increased, privacy Savvies escalated their voices regarding the app’s privacy and data collection policies. But don’t worry. We have covered everything you need about the app’s privacy concerns, the controversy about Threads account deletion, and how you can safely sign up to this platform.
What is Threads?
Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, says, “Threads is a social media app similar to Instagram, where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what will be trending tomorrow.”
A night before the launch of threads, Instagram posted a blog post containing content that you can sign up for Threads using your Instagram account, and you can add links to your posts up to 500 words. In addition, you can upload videos and photos of up to 5 mins.
The platform is very similar to Twitter, where people can post their points of view, engage with their followers, and do as many similar things as on Twitter. The early posts of threads show that people share links, chat with their friends or followers, and post some photos and videos. However, Threads is more text-based and similar to a mini-blogging site, unlike Instagram, where people mostly share photos, videos, and reels.
How Can I Use Threads on a Desktop?
Unfortunately, Threads isn’t yet available on a desktop or laptop; you can use it only on Android and iOS devices like smartphones or tablets. There is no information on Meta’s website that they will allow users to use this app via laptops or desktops. However, future scenarios may differ. You can view posts of your friends or followers via a desktop browser, but you can’t post content until you do it with your mobile phone.
What’s the Age Rating for Threads?
People may wonder, “What is the threads app age rating? Threads restrict users under 12 from using this app because it contains some notorious content, including drugs, crude humor, sexuality, nudity, and mature themes.
Additionally, according to a blog post, Instagram said the Threads accounts of users between 16 – 18 will remain in some countries.
Things You Must Know About Threads
Your Followers are Already There
Threads break the world by gaining over 100 million users within a week. If you are a celebrity or a social media influencer, there’s a high chance that many of your followers are already available on Threads. So, there’s no need to wait to build a new audience on Threads.
Better Posts than Twitter
Threads allow users to write up to 500 characters, almost double Twitter’s character limit. This helps users write a comprehensive post and provides all the required information, preventing them from digging through all the previous posts.
Threads offer similar buttons under each post, like Instagram. If you are an active Instagram user, using this platform will be so easy for you, and you won’t face any difficulty posting on this app.
- The heart symbol is to “Like” the post.
- A quote bubble on Instagram is for comments, but on Threads, it is for direct reply to someone.
- A repost button under the Threads post allows users to repost it on their Threads account by adding their thoughts.
- The paper airplane symbol on Instagram is to share the post with others. While on Threads it is for sharing posts on various social media platforms like Instagram.
Share Content From Threads to Instagram
As Instagram is the BFF of Threads, it allows users to share their posts on Instagram. You can share your Threads post on Instagram by tapping on the paper airplane symbol and selecting “Add to the story.” It will redirect you to your Instagram, and you can post it on your story with some basic edits.
Automatic Blue Verification
Instagram users with a blue verification tick don’t need to panic about applying for another one on Threads. The app will automatically reward you with a “Blue verification tick” if you have it already on Instagram.
Avoid Fake or Duplicate Accounts
If you are texting with someone on Threads and that person claims to be someone you know or a celebrity or more. You can verify their authenticity by going to their Instagram profile. There, you will find a Threads link, which, on clicking, will take you to the Threads profile of that Instagram user.
Currently, Threads doesn’t offer any ads or monetization, but there is a high chance that it will start offering ads in the future. For now, enjoy using this platform without ads.
The Perfect Rival of Twitter
The development team of Instagram has the hands behind the making of Threads, the platform that broke the world record and became the fastest-growing app. Mark Zuckerberg’s Threads project has beaten the Open AI’s ChatGPT record by hitting the 122 million users milestone in a few days. However, these numbers took ChatGPT almost two months. But what are the reasons behind its early success? Let’s discuss them
When Elon Musk announced that he would acquire Twitter, people thought it would be a game-changer. Unfortunately, things took a wrong turn, started going on the other side, and became part of controversies, causing the advertisers and users to leave the app. One reason behind these problems was limiting the number of daily tweets.
The above reasons disillusioned the users, who began searching for Twitter’s alternative offering better features than it. Luckily, Threads remained successful in fulfilling those needs.
After the launch of Threads in July, many Twitter users moved to this platform, resulting in a 5% drop in the platform’s traffic just after two of Threads’ launches. In addition, the decrease was 11%, according to Twitter’s traffic stats of 2022.
A report shows that American Twitter users want to try its alternative app, Threads. In addition, many users suggested that they will or had moved all their activities from Twitter to Threads, which is bad news for Twitter.
The rising number of Twitter users moving to Threads is the major cause of Twitter’s financial situation. According to the previous year, the platform lost 59% of its advertisers, throwing Twitter in a precarious position. Meta’s Thread has shaken social media. Because of the rapid ascent poses, Threads attract users and advertisers, and according to Wallsteet’s projection, it can make up to $8 billion from ad revenue by 2025.
Threads’ initial success undoubtedly deserves applause, but its ability to sustain itself in the industry for the long term doesn’t seem good enough. This is due to the controversies, challenges, and privacy policies the app faces. There is a high probability that Twitter will enhance its privacy policies and come back with additional features to beat Threads and take its position back. However, it is just a projection; the reality is yet to be confirmed.
Threads: Data Sharing Controversy and Privacy Concerns
Before signing up for Threads, remember that Meta is the app’s parent company and has a bad history of controversies about privacy and data sharing concerns. Therefore, be careful before signing up.
Introducing Targeted Advertising
Threads doesn’t offer ads right now, but we know it’s Meta’s application, and Meta mostly generates revenue by selling ads. Critics predict Threads will introduce targeted advertising soon, like on other Meta applications, i.e., Instagram and Facebook.
Like other Meta applications, Threads has similar privacy policies and collects extensive user data. Predictions are that this data collection will be used for personalized recommendations and targeted advertising. However, this massive data collection without the users’ consent raises questions regarding the app’s privacy policies and for what purposes it collects this data.
Massive Data Collection Practices
All Meta properties, including Threads, collect many users’ data and exploit it for targeted advertising and personalized recommendations. It not only collects your basic personal information but also collects location, financial & health data, and online activity. The collection of all that data leads to privacy concerns.
When we combine this information, it makes a pile of data regarding a specific person. Meta has already collected most of the information of social media users through Instagram and Facebook.
Threats Due to Meta’s Ecosystem
The connection between Threads and Meta’s ecosystem, which includes other platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram, increases the risk of unauthorized access or misuse of personal information. As these platforms are interconnected, they have become more invasive in user privacy and share that data with multiple devices.
Third-party Data Transfer
Another cause to worry about your data while using Meta’s application is that it shares your important data with other third-party applications or companies. These third-party platforms either have low data privacy or work in countries with strict data privacy rules. This data transfer with unknown entities increases the chances of unauthorized access or misuse of your personal information by someone outside Meta’s control.
Meta should tell its users why it collects and shares your data with third parties. However, if it doesn’t tell the reasons, users should know the consequences and implications for their security and privacy.
European Union Ban on Threads
Before signing up for Threads, it is crucial to recognize that the platform is banned in the European Union (EU). It bans it under the Digital Markets Act (DCA), deals with the user’s data sharing across various platforms, and Threads fails the DCA policies, so the EU postpones Meta’s Threads launch in the region.
However, the hype about this application is so massive that people are using high-end VPNs to access Threads from the region. This leads to a demand for a top-quality VPN like ExtremeVPN among the European Union users who want to access the app. They look for a VPN that offers multiple servers across the globe and can unblock geo-restricted platforms.
Meta has started blocking users’ traffic using VPN to access Threads because it wants to show the EU its willingness to address the problems regarding the app’s ban. However, Meta was focusing on a wider business model. Despite blocking the VPN traffic, the EU will not unban the application because they want Meta to make substantial changes.
What it’s Like to Delete a Threads Account?
Deleting a Threads account is a significant problem, and it’s no less than a challenge for users. There’s no chance you can remove your Threads account without deleting the whole Instagram account linked with it.
However, the application and Meta never told about account deletion policies to users before signing up for this platform. Many people take this as a threat and raise questions about it. Let’s say you still want to keep your Instagram account, Threads only offers to deactivate your account, which is temporary.
Many non-techy people face this as a challenge because when they signed up for this platform, they didn’t read the policies carefully.
Moreover, Threads has ties with Mastodon, and users must be aware that Meta controls most of their personal data available on the internet. If you have a Mastodon account, when you post something on Threads, your followers on Mastodon can also see it, even after you leave Threads. In addition, the data that Meta gathers while you are using Threads will remain under its ownership.
Are You Still Interested in Joining Threads? Maybe Wait Until it’s Safer
Threads and Meta are going through several controversies regarding data collection and distribution among third parties. Therefore, examining the platform’s practices is mandatory before joining it.
If you are a person who cares about privacy and security, then you shouldn’t sign up for Threads now. We know most people value their security and privacy. However, the platform is safe for businesses using it for their brand presence because they don’t ideally link their personal data with it.
Meta should consider the below measures to make Threads more private and safer for users.
- Transparency on Data Collection and Usage: The parent company of the world’s leading social media platforms should provide its users with clear information regarding data collection, reasons behind the collection, and third-party sharing. Every user should have the right to restrict Meta from gathering the data they don’t want.
- Challenging Account Deletion Process: The account deletion process on Threads is challenging and complicated as users must delete their Instagram account first to delete it. The process should be straightforward, like the account deletion process on Facebook or Instagram. This measure is necessary because nobody wants to delete the Instagram account they have used for a while.
- Enhanced Safety Features: Meta’s Threads should offer robust security features to save users from cyberbullying, abuse, and harassment. The features must include reporting mechanisms, effective content-filtering tools, and user-blocking options.
- Regulations Governing Data Privacy: Threads and all other Meta applications should ensure that they follow GDPR compliance for data privacy. The EU will allow users to use Threads in the region when it will follow GDPR. Refusing this compliance will lead to heavy fines in the future.
How to Use Threads Safely?
Follow these measures to ensure your safety while using Threads:
Share Your Account Only with People You Know
The first step to enhance your privacy is adding people you trust on Threads and sharing the posts or content with trusted people. Set your profile to private because this will limit other users from accessing your profile and photos, and you can also restrict them from sending you messages.
Post with Caution
Be cautious before posting anything on Threads because anything you post will be visible to all users. Think twice before posting anything personal.
Use a VPN
Using a VPN to enjoy Threads is the most cost-effective and secure method of using the platform. A high-end VPN like ExtremeVPN will provide AES 256-bit data encryption, robust privacy & security, a no-logs policy, and more to keep you safe while using Threads. Meta’s application won’t access your location and IP address while using a VPN because it masks your IP address and changes your location virtually.
Create a Strong Password
Using a strong password helps you protect yourself from third parties. You can use ExtremeVPN’s Free Password Generator to create a unique and robust password for your Threads account.
Block and Report Harassers
You can use this feature if someone is making you uncomfortable or harassing you; block them immediately using Threads’s block feature. Blocked accounts will no longer text you and can’t see your posts, photos, or other content. If the case is worse, then block and report the user.
Update Your Software and Privacy Settings Regularly
Critics say that Threads will start showing ads in the future. When you start encountering ads, update the Threads application and access the latest privacy and security settings. In addition, you can manage ads when the features drop.
Many people joined Threads after its launch on 5 July 2023. In no time, the platform broke the world record and became the fastest-growing app, leaving OpenAI’s ChatGPT behind. The reason behind its early success is the downfall of Twitter.
Meta launched this app when people were looking for Twitter’s alternative, offering better features than it. However, Meta undoubtedly made a great app offering more features than Twitter, but don’t forget it’s Meta’s application. The mother company of Threads has a bad history of controversies regarding data sharing and privacy policies.
However, people still use this platform, knowing it is banned in EU regions. Luckily, you can use Threads safely by following the above safety measures, and using a top-notch VPN like ExtremeVPN is a must.