Threads working on letting users delete accounts without wiping out Instagram

Right now, if you want to delete your Threads account altogether, you'll also take your Instagram account with it.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

If you signed up for Threads as soon as it came out, you aren't alone -- the app was downloaded over 30 million times within the first 16 hours of being published. As the virtual floodgates opened on the Threads launch, users that longed for a Twitter alternative rapidly burst in, made all the easier since most already had an account before the app was even created; no invitation or exclusive waitlist was necessary.

Also: Changing this phone setting instantly made the Threads app better for me

Although it's a separate app, Threads was built by the Instagram team and uses the same credentials. If you already have an Instagram account, your username and profile carries over to Threads, though you can customize it and change it if you wish. One aspect that many users didn't know when they threaded their Instagram account to the new app, however, is that they can't delete Threads without also deleting their Instagram.

Threads is such a new social network that people are still testing the waters. The novelty will wear off for some users, and many will eventually decide Threads isn't for them and choose to delete their account. This could result in Instagram losing millions of long-term users, potentially people that have been on the app since its launch over a decade ago. 

Now, Threads is reportedly working on letting users delete their Threads account without deleting their Instagram. 

Also: 5 things to know about Meta's Threads app before you entangle your Instagram account

Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, addressed the issue yesterday. He explained that "Threads is powered by Instagram, so right now it's just one account, but we're looking into a way to delete your Threads account separately." 

Mosseri also stressed that users can deactivate their Threads account, which hides their Threads profile and content, set it to private, and delete individual Threads posts, "all without deleting your Instagram account." 

Currently, Threads is a standalone microblogging app that Meta describes as soon being compatible with interoperable social networks, like Mastodon, through ActivityPub support down the line. 

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