Threads is preparing a feature that allows users to delete a Threads account without also deleting their Instagram account, as reported by TechCrunch. This comes straight from Meta’s chief privacy officer Michael Protti. He stated at last week’s TechCrunch Disrupt event that the feature would be ready for primetime by December.
What’s the holdup? This is a more difficult process than it seems to the layperson. Threads was built on top of Instagram so the two are linked like two kids in a trenchcoat pretending to be a grown up. Protti said the difficulty to separate the two accounts led the company to develop alternative tools to minimize frustration, like the ability to deactivate accounts or to set them to private. Instagram head Adam Mosseri said back in July that the company was experimenting with methods to decouple the platforms and it looks like the devs finally figured it out.
Last week, web developer Alessandro Paluzzi managed to peek behind Meta’s code curtain and found early versions of the forthcoming update, noting that these beta builds block users from opening a new Threads handle with the same Instagram account for 120 days after they participate in the deletion process. Things tend to change as experimental software prepares for an official release, so we don’t know if that 120 days thing is set in stone.
Protti also confirmed that Meta is still working on integrating Threads with the sprawling fediverse. For the uninitiated, the fediverse is a collection of social networks that, while separate, can communicate with one another. Mastodon is the most well-known example of this type of network. He says the company’s trying to iron out some bugs, citing an issue where a Threads post heads to another server and is then deleted by the original author, while remaining on the secondary server.
Threads certainly has some engagement issues, but Meta’s been pretty consistent about pumping out updates that address user concerns. The company recently added keyword search and a robust web app, among other upgrades. Mosseri recently chronicled upcoming Threads features on an Instagram Stories post, stating that the company’s working on introducing improved account recommendations, an edit button for posts and more.