This week saw Meta Threads come to Ireland, and the wider EU after 6 months of a somewhat limited launch. Irish Threads seems popular with people flocking away from Twitter (or X) seeking a better social experience. Indeed that seems to be happening. So much so even I’m on there and talking about it. Let’s not forget, I’m not a big fan of Meta and have even stopped using WhatsApp. But with Elon Musk doing so much harm that he’s even made Mark Zuckerberg look like the good guy, people are now wondering how do they get started on Threads. Well, here’s the guide you’re after!
What is Threads?
Meta Threads is a relatively new social media app developed by Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. It’s often described as a more casual and personalized version of Twitter/X, focused on sharing short, bite-sized updates with your close friends and followers.
Imagine it like a more intimate and interactive version of your Instagram Stories, where you can share thoughts, photos, videos, and links without the pressure of a complex algorithm or worrying about reaching a wide audience. The focus is on connecting with your close circle and fostering more meaningful conversations.
Threads is growing in popularity as people seek out a liferaft from Twitter. Twitter today is full of far-right bile and people have frankly had enough.
Getting Started on Threads
First things first. The easiest way to get started on Threads is by signing in with your Instagram account. You don’t have to, but this will help you find people in your follower list that area already using the platform.
When signing up, be sure to pay attention to the automatic follower settings. This is where you’ll be able to choose who to follow or not follow from your existing base.
If you’re looking to curate your followings a little, check out our top accounts to follow on Threads Ireland.
Posting to Threads
Ok, you’re in. Time to post. You can post Threads with up to 500 characters. Choose from text, polls images, GIFs and even voice notes. The voice notes are automatically transcribed too. My gut tells me this is going to be a popular feature.
When posting, you can tag other accounts and, of course, choose a hashtag. The catch is you need to focus. Just one “Thread” or hashtag can be used per post.
Yes! Threads supports editing posts. 5-minutes after you’ve posted, you can edit to fix your mistakes. The time limit stops you from creating a popular post with lots of reach and just changing it – it’s responsible and a nice middle ground for composing posts.
Following and Feed
As per usual, you can follow whoever you like on Threads. You can even tag people from Instagram who’ve not made the leap across yet. Who you follow makes an impact on the “For You” feed. Not many modern social platforms have nailed the feed approach in a while, so here’s hoping Threads does. It’s algorithmic-based so fingers crossed that black box makes sense of my likes!
Muting and Blocking
Along with following accounts you like, you can mute and block those you don’t. Social media has kind of taken over our lives these days. Threads is a chance for a fresh start and that’s really coming across in the platform’s “vibe”. Do take your time, choose who you follow carefully and make Threads the Twitter we all lost.
Federation is a relatively new idea with social networks. Mastodon is a big example of a platform doing this, though the Irish instance has blocked Threads federation for now. One great feature of this would be the ability to close your Threads profile but carry your activity over to another platform. This is big-picture stuff, and one for the future.
With lots of couch time ahead in the coming weeks, if you’ve been seeking out a new social media experience, Threads might be the perfect one. While Meta is far from perfect, I’ve had lots of time on Twitter and TikTok recently and come to the conclusion that Meta might not be the worst. As scary a thought as that is, it’s an important point that I’ll be keeping a close eye on in the coming months.