Initial thoughts on Threads

Photo of the Threads iOS app on an iPhone SE

Have you signed up for the new Twitter alternative, Threads? Here’s my first-day thoughts.

Text limits

I thought Threads differentiated itself from Twitter by allowing for unlimited text in a post. I wrote a 400-word post (2,181 characters) in my desktop text editor. When I pasted the text into the Threads app, most of it got highlighted in red for exceeding the limit of 500 characters. LOL. Ok, so 500 characters is supposed to be a big difference from 280 characters?

Do I post on Threads, Instagram, or Facebook?

Since most of my posts have images, shouldn’t I post to Instagram instead? When should I post something to Instagram, and when should I post it to Threads?

Instagram and Threads are so closely tied together, it seems silly to post the same thing on both platforms.

It gets even crazier that Facebook owns both Instagram and Threads. We could all be posting the same thing to three networks that are all connected. That seems unnecessary.

Comparing Threads with Twitter: negative points

  1. Threads desktop version is VERY limited. You can only sign up via mobile. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to reply to posts on desktop.
  2. No reverse chronological order. Chronological order is the ONLY way I use Twitter. It’s the ONLY way I use Facebook. (I rarely use Instagram, because there is no chron order option.) I cannot use Meta’s algorithm. It displays the same posts too frequently and intermixes all this other stuff that I don’t need to see.
  3. Threads has no keyword search.
  4. No lists.
  5. No API to make posts. (not a big point, but I do use the API to make tweets with our work account @tribuneagency on Twitter)

Comparing Threads with Twitter: positive points

  1. You can follow all the people you already follow on Instagram. I guess that’s nice. Makes it easier to follow all the people I already care about.
  2. Um, it’s not Twitter. And all the craziness that Twitter has been going through under Musk. Alternatives are nice. I’m still holding my breath for BlueSky to send me an invite.

No edit feature

Initially, I made this blog post as a thread. Looking back at my thread, there are ton of typos. I quickly learned there is no edit button like on Instagram.

Multiple accounts

I signed up for Threads using the handles @mattmaldre, @spudart, @57hits. I like having focused accounts.

  • @spudart: for artwork I leave around
  • @57hits: for baseball stuff
  • @mattmaldre: other interesting things that doesn’t fit into the prior two accounts.

Maybe I should learn from past social media signups and not fragment myself into multiple accounts. Ah well.

Instagram has a nice account switcher in the app, so you can easily manage multiple Instagram accounts. So far, Threads doesn’t have this easy account switcher. You have to sign out of one account, and sign back in as another account. I imagine they’ll be fixing this one soon.


For now, I won’t be using Threads. I did my duty and grabbed my normal usernames. (Since there is that sign-up connection with Instagram, can someone on Threads sign up for your Instagram username? I don’t know. But I signed up on Threads, just in case.)

I do almost 100% of my social media on a laptop. The desktop feature is a must for me.

  1. I like having a regular keyboard to type
  2. The bigger screen is nice (see more, scroll less)
  3. With no social media on my phone, I’m not tempted to keep pulling social media out of my pocket at any moment.

Since Threads doesn’t have a legit desktop version, I’m not really going to be using it. When they bring desktop support and chronological order, then I might consider using it more.

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