Threads – A guide for parents and carers
Meta has recently unveiled its much-anticipated Threads app, providing online users with another platform for socialising and discussion. Designed as a companion platform to Instagram, Threads offers a space for users to connect with friends and creators who share similar interests.
Unlike Instagram, Threads encourages users to publish more text-based posts up to 500 characters. Links, photos, and videos lasting up to 5 minutes can also be included if desired. Furthermore, users have the flexibility to share Threads posts directly to their Instagram stories or distribute them out as links across various other platforms.
Safety and Privacy
Meta has integrated Instagram’s existing suite of safety features into Threads. By doing so, Threads is adhering to Instagram’s community guidelines which includes age restrictions and approaches towards harmful online content.
When starting out with Threads, users can download the app from the App or Play Store and log in by connecting to their existing Instagram account. This integration allows your Instagram profile to carry over, including your username, verification details, and follower information. However, users can tailor their Threads profile to be different to their Instagram if they desire. Currently, Threads is accessible only through mobile platforms, and no desktop version is available as of yet.
Because it is linked to Instagram, users need to be at least 13 years old to create an account. For users under 18 in the UK, Threads automatically sets accounts to a private profile, which limits activity and visibility to followers in a lot of cases. Additionally, users have control over who can mention them or reply to their threads.
Similarly to Instagram, Threads offers the ability to add hidden words to filter out replies that may contain harmful or irrelevant content. The app also allows users to unfollow, block, restrict, or report profiles, with automatic blocking of accounts that have already been blocked on Instagram previously.
Family Centre Supervision Tools
To support teens aged 13-17 on the app, Threads incorporates Instagram’s Family Centre supervision tools. These tools enable parents and guardians to have awareness of their teen’s followers, who they are following, and their time usage on the platform. Parents can also set daily time limits and scheduled breaks to support with a healthier digital balance.
Instagram’s Community Guidelines
Threads operates under Instagram’s Community Guidelines, working to ensure that all content and interactions comply with the platform’s policies. These guidelines focus on promoting genuine interactions, respecting others, adhering to legal regulations, and sharing content with appropriate rights. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in consequences such as deleted content, disabled accounts, or other restrictions.
Lastly, while Threads aims to foster positive and productive conversations, users should remain aware of reporting functions in case of encountering harmful content online. The app includes reporting functions for posts and users, but additional support can be found at www.reportharmfulcontent.com for independent advice.