People cannot leave Instagram’s Threads app without deleting their whole account, rules warn

Users can choose whether to link their account to new app – but not whether to leave again

Andrew Griffin
Friday 07 July 2023 08:30 BST
(Photo by Emin Sansar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Meta’s new Threads app will not let people leave without deleting their whole Instagram account, its rules warn.

The app launched just hours ago and appears to have already received tens of millions of signups. It came at a particularly difficult time for Twitter – which has been limiting how many posts people can see – and has tight integration with Instagram, which makes it easy to sign up.

However, people are not able to reverse that signup process once it has happened, users have found. If someone starts using Threads, and then wants to leave again, they will be forced to delete their entire Instagram account.

Threads users can “deactivate” their profile, which will stop posts and interactions with other people’s posts from being shown. But that data will continue to live on parent company Meta’s servers, and will remain connected to the Instagram account it came from.

Users can also delete all of their individual posts on Threads. As on most social networks, that has to be done one-by-one, with a user scrolling through their own account and deleting each post individually.

But it is not possible to fully delete it without getting rid of all Instagram data. “Your Threads profile is part of your Instagram account, and may be deleted at any time by deleting your Instagram account,” a supplemental privacy policy published for Threads warns.

Meta has said that it is working on the problem, presumably with a view to allowing people to get rid of their Threads account without deleting all of their data.

The issue is just one of a range of problems that users have identified on the first day with Instagram’s Threads app.

Many other users have complained, for instance, that there is no way to see only posts from accounts that they have actually followed. Instagram has built Threads to recommend posts from other accounts it thinks users are interested in, too – presumably in an attempt to ensure that the news feed is full up even when users start using the app.

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, has also confirmed on Threads that the company is working on that feature too. Mr Mosseri faced sharp criticism in recent months over the increasing amount of algorithmically chosen content being pushed into users feeds on the normal version of Instagram.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in