Threads from Instagram
**Updated November 25, 2020
What is Threads?
App Store description: Threads is a new app for keeping up with your close friends. It’s the place for you to quickly share photos, videos, statuses, and Stories with your Instagram Close Friends list.
- Close Friends: Threads works best with the people on your Close Friends list, so you’re in control of who can reach you on the app. You can create and edit your list anytime on Instagram or Threads.
- Share Instantly: You can share photos and videos lightning fast. Use camera shortcuts to send them to your close friends in just two taps.
- Share What You’re Up To with Status: You can choose from a selection of pre-set statuses, create your own, or enable automatic status, which shares little bits of context with your friends. You can choose whether to use status, and only your close friends will see your status.
- Continue Using Instagram: Messages from your Close Friends will now appear in Threads, but you will still have access them on Instagram.
APP Store rating: 12+ (“infrequent/mild alcohol, tobacco, drug, mature/suggestive themes, profanity or crude humor, sexual content and nudity,” etc.), although users are supposed to be at least 13 years old in order to comply with the Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
What do parents need to know about Threads? Are there any parental controls?
Ownership: Threads is another Facebook app.
Purpose? It really just allows you to do the same things as Instagram does, but faster, and with a tighter group. Send a direct message. Send a photo (instantly or add some words like in Snapchat). Have a video chat. Send a sticker (there’s GIPHY integration for a variety of stickers).
It’s a direct jab at Snapchat. When you send a photo you can give the person 3 viewing options – these set Threads apart from Snapchat:
- View Once
- Keep in Chat
You can set a Status: As reported by Forbes and in the screen shot below:
Another new feature is the inclusion of a “status,” which lets you share a short phrase about what you’re doing with an emoji representation such as “☕️At a cafe” or “?At home.” Users will be able to opt in to an auto-status feature that automatically updates by tracking your GPS coordinates, similar to Snap Maps. Threads will not share your exact location, and only your Close Friends list will see your status.
Privacy: not much risk. You select who you’re sharing with. There’s nothing shared in Threads that isn’t already being shared in Instagram.
Parental Controls: none. But, all you’re doing is sending media, faster, to a curated list of Instagram friends. There’s not much to control in Threads.
Predator risk: maybe. We could potentially see predators ask to be added as a “Close Friend” in Threads for more instant, Snapchat-like interactions. As we say, “where the kids are is always where the predators are.” Therefore, the rise of predators in this app largely depends on how popular it becomes.
We’ll see if it catches on. As one App Store reviewer wrote:
It honestly feels like Instagram/Facebook is running out of ideas. This app is literally Instagram DMs with 1 or 2 new features that no one really cares about. The app feels way too basic because it is extremely limited and inconvenient, especially since most of the features already exists in the Instagram app. Why should I switch apps just to talk to the same people about the same things on an identical platform?
The bottom line: Is Threads safe for kids?
The risks are actually low. If your kid is using Threads, then your kid is already in a much riskier environment – Instagram. We would prefer that more parents appreciated Instagram’s risks. Our comprehensive app review explains everything.
Learn more: Instagram Parental Controls
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