Maybe entangling the would-be Twitter killer with Instagram’s innards wasn’t such a great idea, in retrospect. There’s no denying that linking the two helped Meta secure the reported 100 million ‘users’ during the app’s first week, but after the novelty wore off, problems arose.
We’re of course talking about the inability to purge a Threads account without also deleting the affiliated Instagram account. It forced all those unhappy users (us included) to stick with the app longer than they’d have liked until Meta got around to severing the connection between the two. That day has finally come, according to Instagram head Adam Mosseri in an update on the app.
Losing the Threads
It’s worth mentioning that the ‘Delete Account’ button isn’t available for everyone just yet. When we attempted to outright delete our personal account, we were only met with a ‘Deactivate account’ button which will only temporarily remove your presence from the app until you log back in.
There’s no word on when the new option will be pushed out globally, but there’s nothing to suggest it’ll take longer than planned. Here’s how you can check if your Threads app has the Delete Account button.
The first step for most probably involves downloading the Threads app (Android, iOS) again. Go ahead. We’ll wait. Open it up and sign into your account. Click on the Profile button at the bottom right, followed by Settings (the two little lines at the top right). Next, tap on Account and then Delete or deactivate account. And voila.
Changing for the better
For those that are still sticking around on Threads, Mosseri’s update included another change – one that would let users opt out of having their Threads paraded around on Instagram and Facebook. According to the official @Threads account, this can be done on mobile by tapping Settings > Privacy > Suggesting posts on other apps. Here you can find the option to turn off suggestions for Instagram and/or Facebook.
Even after the changes, Threads is still “an Instagram app” and that won’t change. Creating a new account still requires an Instagram account to link it to and relies on Instagram’s inbox for messaging. That’s not even mentioning the app’s tendency to borrow Instagram’s data to recommend new posts.
It’s unlikely that connection will ever be severed entirely, but there’s hope that Threads may one day be able to stand on its own after Meta gets ‘round to making it compatible with ActivityPub – the open-source protocol that powers Mastodon and the general fediverse. When that’ll be though… Instagram nor Meta haven’t yet said.