Threads – try it on your phone – don’t try it on your desktop!

Mark Zuckerberg has taken the wraps off Threads, a clone of Twitter designed to lure people turned off by the social network’s changes under owner Elon Musk.

This blog contains help in downloading Threads, it also contains a warning, do not try to download threads to your desktop – that way is blocked by spammers and probably malware.

Before Meta’s free text conversation-focused app launched , Meta had some advantages over rivals that could  turn Threads into a major new hub for online conversations.

The launch arrives with a potential audience of billions who already use Meta’s photo and video-oriented Instagram, which Threads is built on top of. After the launch, Zuckerberg posted on Threads that the new social network passed 5 million sign ups in the first four hours. Would-be Twitter rivals Mastodon and Bluesky have yet to grow beyond single-digit millions of users.

But Threads also comes with Meta baggage, including privacy, moderation and algorithmic feed practices that have turned many people off Zuckerberg’s other social networks such as Facebook. For example: from the moment you first log in to Threads, it starts showing you recommended posts from accounts and brands you don’t necessarily follow — or necessarily even want to see.

How do I get on Threads?

You’ll need to have an Instagram account to sign up for Threads. Then you can download the Threads app for iOS or Android to set up your account. Do this from your app store.

You’ll use the same name for your Threads account as you do on Instagram.

Meta said you’d also be able to join Threads directly on the web but that doesn’t appear to be working yet.)

Your browser search will already be littered with fake ways to download threads onto your desktop, don’t click to any of them, they are fake and likely to contain malware.


But that shouldn’t stop you using the mobile app.

When you first use the app, you’ll be given the option to automatically follow all of the same accounts you follow on Instagram — or just select some of them. We’re curious to see how this plays out: How much overlap is there between accounts you follow on Instagram for their epic photographs with accounts you want to read for their text or hot takes on politics and TV?

That system also means your existing Instagram friends and followers don’t automatically follow you on Threads. You’ll have to build up that audience all over again.

Opening the app reveals buttons to like, repost, reply to or quote a “thread”, and counters showing the number of likes and replies that a post has received. Posts are limited to 500 characters, which is more than Twitter’s 280-character threshold, and can include links, photos and videos up to five minutes long.

Unlike Twitter, Threads does not seem to use hashtags and does not have a feature that allows users to search for specific text or phrases. It also allows users to share up to 10 photos in a single post – the same limit that exists on Instagram – as opposed to Twitter’s limit of four images.

With Twitter getting clunkier and progressively less usable since Musk took it over, opening an app and actually being able to see and engage with content smoothly felt like a breath of fresh air.

And one other thing to note: At launch, Threads isn’t available in Europe, where the Irish Data Protection Commission recently hit Meta with a record $1.3 billion fine for breaking its privacy rules. The region’s new Digital Markets Act also puts some of the Meta’s data-sharing and privacy practices into question.

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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