There’s a good chance if you haven’t been hiding under a rock for the last couple of days, you will have heard something about Threads. The new app – which technically isn’t actually brand new as it first launched back in 2019 as something slightly different – comes from Instagram and there’s been so much hype about it in the last 48 hours, that it might actually have a chance of becoming a solid alternative to Twitter.
As Threads links directly to Instagram, it’s nice and easy to populate your feed with your people and the user interface is clean and simple so it’s pretty quick to get to grips with. It is missing a few features, like the ability to posts GIFs natively – you have to download a third-party keyboard to post those bad boys – but on the whole, I can see why everyone is having kittens over it. It’s certainly a much more pleasant space than Twitter can be. Threads also has the advantage of being accessible to download via Instagram, immediately hitting that app’s entire user base – something the likes of Mastodon and BlueSky didn’t have the benefit of so there is some huge potential here, especially the way Twitter has been going of late.
There is something about Threads I don’t like though, and I found it almost as soon as I opened the app to try it on my iPhone. Android people, you aren’t going to share my frustration because luckily for you, the Threads app UI in Android does what you would expect. For iOS users though, it’s a slightly different story and if you are an iPhone user and didn’t know that your Android cousins have a better deal here, I’m sorry in advance.
Tap that middle button at the bottom of the Threads app and you’ll be taken to the posting screen. Sure, makes sense. The app does exactly what you would expect here so bravo. But it then says “Start a thread”. A thread to me suggests I’d have the ability to create a string of sentences or words, that are – by the app’s very nature – threaded together. My little profile icon sits below the initial thread teasing me with the idea that I would be able to create a couple of ‘threads’ in one before hitting post. But no, that’s not how it works on iOS. Tap that space below your initial thread and nothing happens. Absolutely nada.
Instead, you have to create your first thread, hit post and then comment on your own post to add to your thread with another thread, which to me, doesn’t make sense from a UI perspective. I’d rather not have the profile icon below at all – it’s like showing me a bar of Dairy Milk and not letting me eat it. Android users meanwhile, get the “Add to thread” option next to their profile picture below an initial thread, so they can add multiple threads before posting the entire thing – which is what I expected the app would allow me to do too, given its name.
For Twitter fans who have been creating long numbered threads for years, it’s a must-have feature if it’s going to compete head-to-head with the popular short-form posting app. Being able to construct and number multiple posts, threads and replies is such a useful tool. Still, Threads has only been live for a number of hours, so there’s still hope.
For those who have downloaded Threads but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve got a tips and tricks feature to get you started. And if you’ve not downloaded it yet, you probably should. I heard it’s what the cool kids are doing.