Threads, an Instagram app, is making the rounds on the Internet as the latest sensation that has caught everyone's attention. While many have already jumped the bandwagon, as apparent by the astounding number of 100 million+ users that have already joined the app, others are still deliberating.

And the one question on everyone's mind is the one we're going to address here, "How is Threads Different from Instagram?" So, are you ready to delve into the exciting world of Meta's apps – Instagram and Threads – and uncover what makes them distinct? Well, put on your explorer hats, and let's embark on this digital expedition!

Instagram vs. Threads

While Threads has the phrase "An Instagram App" in its title, it's nothing like it. Of course, it wouldn't make much sense for Meta to release an app similar to Instagram. Instead, Threads is Meta's take on Twitter. Before last year, launching an app similar to Twitter would have made zero sense; that's why they didn't do it.

But with Twitter going to hell ever since the "muskification", it was the perfect time to capitalize on a similar app, which Meta hopes to do.

Purpose and Functionality:

While Instagram is a place to share photos, videos, stories, and, let's not forget, the reels to share glimpses of your life, Threads is a text-centric app for engaging in conversations. You can post 500-character long text posts, known as threads. And while you can add photos, links, and videos (up to 5 minutes long), they aren't the hero ingredient.

Left: Instagram. Right: Threads.

Like Twitter, you're supposed to weave conversations with your threads on this companions app for Instagram. It won't be wrong to call Threads 'Twitter 2.0' or perhaps 'Twitter 3.0' if we add Mastodon to the equation.

In essence, Threads is built around short, snappy text posts designed to capture moment-to-moment updates, while Instagram is for the visuals.


Another aspect where Threads differs from Instagram is in posting. While there are so many different types of content (and entry points) you can post on Instagram: Posts, Reels, Stories, etc., Threads only has one kind of post and one entry point for it, which is easy to navigate for anyone new to social media apps.

Left: Posting options for Instagram. Right: Posting options for Threads.


While not implemented currently, makers of Threads (also the makers of Instagram) say that the text-based app would be compatible with ActivityPub, the open-source protocol for social networking. This would essentially make it compatible with the Fediverse and all the apps that are a part of it.

Fediverse is a term for the ensemble of federated servers that are community-owned, ad-free, and decentralized. All the apps on Fediverse can interact with others directly. So, if Meta does implement it, users on Mastodon (for example) would be able to follow you and interact with your posts on Threads without creating an account there and vice versa.

There are no such plans for Instagram currently, though.


Instagram and Threads may have their differences, but they are both Meta's soldiers. And as such, they have some similarities too. The interface is one such thing. As soon as you hop into the Threads app, you'll find that it has a very Instagram-esque interface – from the toolbar at the bottom to the settings menu – making it very easy to navigate the app.

Left: Instagram's Interface. Right: Threads' Interface.

Threads might be an Instagram app, but it's nothing like Instagram. Instead, it "borrows" its social networking philosophy from Twitter's text-based style. With Twitter's popularity declining in the sloppiest of slopes, Threads might just become the place for text-based interactions.