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Meta OKs deleting Threads without losing Instagram


Changes are being rolled out to the Threads app that will enable users to delete their account while keeping the linked Instagram account.

An Instagram account is required to sign up to the Twitter-like app, but users were frustrated that it was impossible to delete Threads alone.

Instagram boss Adam Mosseri revealed the change in a post on Threads.

Initially hailed as a “Twitter-killer”, Threads struggled to sustain early record-breaking growth.ADVERTISEMENT

In October Mark Zuckerberg, the head of parent-company Meta, revealed that three months on from its July launch the app was attracting around 100 million monthly users – down by more than a half.

When Threads was first revealed it was seen as a direct challenge to the Elon Musk-owned X, formerly known as Twitter.

But it went live without a number of features, such as search and direct messages, that are found on rival platforms.

The inability to fully delete an account without deleting the associated Instagram account was heavily criticised.

Users were only able to deactivate – not delete – their Threads account if they wanted to keep their linked Instagram profile going.

The new feature will be accessible from the settings menu in a “Delete or Deactivate Profile” section, Mr Mosseri posted on Threads.

The failure to have such a system had drawn the attention of regulators.

When Meta first announced that the change would be coming in September, the UK’s privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) wrote: “We have been clear with Meta since the Threads service was launched that people should be able to delete their Threads profiles and account information, without that having an impact on their Instagram account.”

It said it was glad “discussions” had resulted in change, adding “people should not have to sacrifice their usage of one service in order to be removed from another”.

Automatic sharing

It was also announced that Threads users will soon be able to opt out of automatic sharing of posts to either or both Instagram and Facebook.

While this feature directly allowed Meta to raise awareness of Threads among the billions who use these platforms, experts say it was unpopular with many users.

The platform said it had “heard feedback that you want more control over the experience”, Mr Mosseri wrote.


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