Instagram's Threads has launched to take on Twitter — everything you need to know

Meta Threads logo on phone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Threads has arrived to take on Twitter. If all the changes and restrictions happening at Twitter are getting too much to bear, you may be in luck. Instagram has a new Twitter competitor to try and fill that void.

Ever since Elon Musk took over Twitter and started making sweeping and controversial changes, the topic of Twitter alternatives has been on a lot of peoples’ minds. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company was working on its own micro-blogging rival back in March. 

In the following months we learned it would be called Threads, and would be officially part of Instagram — albeit in a separate app. And now you can sign up right now.

How to get Threads

Threads has now launched, and is available on iOS and Android devices. The service was previously accessible on the web, but it doesn't look like a browser-based version of the app is available at this time. Heading to the threads website simply features a QR code that takes you to the relevant app store.

Signing up for Threads is easy if you already have an Instagram account, since the two services share the same login details. If you don't use Instagram already, you'll need to create a new account. Check out our guide on how to sign up for Threads for more details.

It's also worth noting that Threads won't be launching in the EU just yet, thanks to the regions' strict data privacy laws. The U.S. and U.K. are unaffected by this, however.

What is Threads?

According to the App Store, Threads is “Instagram’s text-based conversation app”, It’s described as “where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow. Whatever it is you’re interested in, you can follow and connect directly with your favorite creators and others who love the same things — or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions and creativity with the world.”

Which is more or less Twitter, but with a different billionaire at the helm. And hopefully none of the ridiculous decision-making and paywalls that weaken the experience.

Instagram threads app store screenshots

(Image credit: Meta)

Thread design

Threads offers an interface that should prove familiar to Instagram users. The difference is that text is the dominant thing on screen, rather than images. Though it does look like you’ll be able to use Threads to post images, much as you would on Twitter or in a Facebook status.

Better still, it confirms that your Instagram account will carry over, letting you log in with the exact same username and password. This also means you can follow all the same accounts fairly easily, though whether this will be done automatically or not isn’t clear.

Instagram threads app store screenshots

(Image credit: Meta)

If you’re not already an active Instagram user, or take issue with the amount of data Meta apps have been known to collect, then Threads may not be for you. Still, in a world where Twitter seems hell-bent on spiraling into oblivion, and alternatives like Bluesky are still very much in their infancy, Meta probably has a decent chance of success.

We’ll have to see how this plays out to see if it can tempt users away from Twitter. But at least you don’t have long to wait to take Threads for a spin yourself.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.

  • SharpDelay
    Signed up for Facebook, Instagram and Threads so I could try out threads and thought why not sign up for Facebook too. Installed the apps on 3 different devices I use, all using my wifi so all the same IP address, didn't post anything. Got suspended for suspicious activity. Not willing to jump through hoops like I've done something wrong, so I'm out. Uninstall. Apparently, they can't deal with someone that owns more than just a phone. I wouldn't be busy spreading discontent, but Insta makes it impossible to just email them. And just because I'm annoyed.. Meta is a really stupid name.