Threads: Meta’s Twitter Rival Will be Powered by Your Data 

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Threads, Meta’s answer to Twitter, has just appeared on the App Store ahead of its official release later this week. But it’s not just the app itself that has got people talking. 

The platform’s “data linked to you” section, listed below its App Store description in the form of Apple privacy labels, reveals just how much data Meta plans to take from its users. And for reference, the list is several times longer than the description for the app itself. 

Meta's Threads App Privacy
Threads' "Data Linked to You Section" displayed on the App Store. 


From health and fitness data to browsing history and location, the data Threads collects from its users will make the app Meta’s biggest data goldmine yet, granting the social media giant access to all sorts of sensitive data and personal information about its users.

And this data, Meta says, will be the building blocks for the app itself, imported through the app’s integration with Instagram to create new user profiles, posts and settings without users having to lift a finger. 

This means that anyone with an Instagram account will be able to seamlessly start using the platform under the same username and with the same personal details as their Instagram account.

While it is not unusual for apps to collect personal data, this method of transferring data from one platform to another to transport a community is unique to Threads. 

The same App Privacy section on Twitter shows that some of the data that is linked to users that the developers collect including purchases, contact info, user content, browsing history, usage data, location, contacts, search history, identifiers, and diagnostics. 

In fact, Twitter appears to collect a similar amount of data from its users minus health and fitness, financial info and sensitive info.

The new Twitter

The release of Threads comes a Twitter deals with a data controversy of its own, with former chief Elon Musk limiting Tweets for unverified users in a bid to address the “extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation” on its platform. 

The move has faced huge backlash online, leading to #RIPTwitter and #Twitterddown trending on Twitter. Many tried to sign up for similar apps instead, including Bluesky – which is backed by Dorsey and had to temporarily pause sign-ups due to the sudden surge in demand.

It appears that Meta may have taken advantage of the situation and ushered the release of Threads in a bid to draw users from the increasingly controversial tweeting platform. 

Of course, Musk hasn’t taken Meta’s situation lightly. In a Tweet, the Tesla CEO acknowledged that Threads could pose a threat to Twitter, especially given recent developments on the platform.

"Thank goodness they're so sanely run," Musk said sarcastically replying to a tweet from entrepreneur Mario Nawfal who disagreed with Meta’s  "sanely run" narrative against Twitter and zeroed in on the firm’s data collection policy.

“But Twitter should resolve the ‘Exceeding view limit’ as soon as possible, otherwise, I am afraid ‘Threads’ could take advantage of the recent Twitter development, Musk continued.  

“I know preventing intruders from data scrapping is important too, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of hindering user experience.”

Meta’s data collection has also drawn criticism from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who Tweeted “all your Threads beyond to us” along with a screenshot of Thread’s extensive privacy policy on the app store. The tweet was also re-shared by Musk. 

Meta's work on Threads was first confirmed to the tech newsletter Platformer earlier this year. According to The Verge, the tech giant has been encouraging the likes of Oprah and the Dalai Lama to sign up. 

Until the app is released at the end of the week, however, it remains unclear how its launch will play out. 

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