Are you one of the 100 million or so people who have signed up for Meta / Instagram’s new “Threads” social media app? Here are the best settings to improve your overall experience…
As I write this post, it’s been less than two weeks since Meta launched “Threads, An Instagram App“, and it’s already grown at an astonishing rate, with over 100 million accounts created. It’s not too difficult, though, because if you have an Instagram account, it’s just a click or two to be set up on Threads too (at least, once you download the app for your iPhone or Android device). While the company had admitted that there are a lot of features not yet implemented, there are still some settings you can tweak to improve your overall Threads user experience.
The biggest step, however, is to hide posts you don’t like and block posters (Threaders? Threadists?) that you don’t want to see. This way you’re teaching the algorithm what to show you. Over time, it’ll get better and better at anticipating what you won’t like and omitting bad content so that your experience is optimal. Let’s check out what you can do and how you can improve your Threads experience…
HIDE AND BLOCK CONTENT ON THREADS
Once you’ve downloaded the app and are signed in, the most important step is to spend some time each day going through your feed and either muting or blocking content you’d rather not see in your feed. For exampe, here’s a post that some people might find objectionable:
Whether you decide that you don’t want to see anything from the poster or just don’t like this particular content, tap on the “•••” on the top right corner. A small menu appears:
To hide someone without necessarily reporting them as being in violation of community standards or the Threads terms of service, tap on “Mute“. Don’t like this specific post but still want to see other posts from this particular user? Tap on “Hide“.
Want to both stop seeing their posts and ensure that they can’t see what you post on Threads too? That’s what “Block” is for. They won’t get a notification that you’ve blocked them, you just won’t show up any more.
Finally, if you do think that they’re posting dangerous content, hateful information, or otherwise material that’s a violation of the Terms of Service, you can “Report” them. Be aware that reporting someone doesn’t automatically mean that they’re going to be frozen out, suspended, or kicked off Threads, but, presumably, if enough people report an account, a team at Threads will check into it further.
BEST SETTINGS FOR THREADS, AN INSTAGRAM APP
This brings us to the heart of this article; changes you should make in your Settings to have the best possible Threads experience…
To get to your Threads settings, go to your profile. You can do that by tapping on the tiny profile silhouette icon on the lower right of the app screen. My @d1taylor account looks like this:
Notice that there’s a direct link to your Instagram account (along the top). But what we want here on the top right, the two horizontal lines. A tap on that graphic and here’s the menu that you’ll see:
Some areas well worth exploring, notably Privacy (rather an Achille’s Heel for Meta) but for our purposes, tap on Notifications to proceed. This brings up yet another menu:
If you’re getting too many notifications on your mobile device, tap to enable “Pause all” here. Then tap on “Following and followers“. More settings:
This is where you can adjust the notifications related to follow requests, etc, and make sure that you are following the people you want, not just whomever signs up on Threads that you might have known on Instagram.
Back up and choose “Threads and replies” and there are even more important settings to tweak:
Changing from “everyone” to “people you follow” on these settings will make a significant difference in your Threads experience. In particular, swipe to the bottom and you’ll see one of the most important settings in Threads as of July, 2023:
If you really want to get rid of random new content in your Threads newsfeed, change the “First threads” setting from “everyone” to “people you follow”, and it’ll be startlingly different. The more friends you have on Instagram migrating to Threads, the more this setting will improve things.
And that’s it. The Threads team has promised lots of new features, including a chronological feed and a friends-only feed, but in the interim, these tweaks and preferences can definitely help improve your Threads adventure!
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about Instagram for quite a while and am just starting to document Threads. Please check out my Instagram help library while you’re visiting and why not follow me on Threads too? Just look for @d1taylor to find me there!