Threads finally launched this week, offering yet another Twitter alternative to those wanting to get off Elon Musk‘s wild ride. Reports on Threads thus far are mixed, with some users favourably likening Meta‘s new app to vintage Twitter while others deride it for features like its algorithmic feed.
Unfortunately, settling the matter isn’t as easy as simply signing up to check it out and deleting your account if it isn’t for you. It appears that once you create a Threads profile, Meta has no qualms taking your Instagram account hostage to entice you to keep it.
Deactivating your Threads profile means other users won’t be able to see it, but all your delicious content will continue to live on the app’s servers. Your posts will only be wiped from Threads’ servers if you go through and manually delete them one by one. If you do go for the nuclear option and delete your Instagram account, all your Threads data will still stay on the servers for up to 90 days.
It may not make too much of a difference on the front end. But having unwanted vestigial social media accounts floating around can feel unnerving, especially after you’ve already tried to delete them.
Meta also won’t let you change your Threads username without changing your Instagram username as well. That might be fine if you apply the same tone across all your social media profiles. However, it will likely be annoying for people who intend to use Threads professionally while keeping Instagram for silly memes and K-pop fancams.
Part of the appeal of having different social media accounts is that they enable us to curate various online personas that cater to different facets of ourselves. You might be fine having your dad as a Facebook friend, but less fine with him seeing your TikTok thirst traps. Meta’s insistence on tying Threads to Instagram also ties it down, which leaves an opening for less encumbered apps such as Bluesky to gain an upper hand in the fight to become the new Twitter.