Meta will finally let users delete their Threads account without losing their Instagram account.
When Meta released its text-based social platform Threads in July, it hit 100 million users barely a week after its launch — quickly becoming the fastest growing app ever.
However, Meta’s new app came with a huge stipulation: users could not delete their Threads account without deleting their Instagram account at the same time.
But Meta is now working on a new feature that will allow users to delete their Threads account without removing their Instagram. Meta is preparing to roll out this separate account deletion feature for Threads by December.
Meta’s chief privacy officer Michel Protti made the announcement at a TechCrunch Disrupt event last week.
Protti says that because Threads was built using Instagram’s infrastructure, it was extremely challenging to separate the two platforms in time for launch. So the company ended up rolling out tools such as the ability to deactivate the account or set it to private.
“Technically, it was extremely challenging to allow deletion of a separate Threads account without also deleting your overall Instagram account out of the gate,” Protti tells TechCrunch.
“We paid particular attention to ensuring the user could still exercise their deletion rights, by deactivating the account to sort of hide all content, setting it to private, or deleting individual threads.”
Last week, Alessandro Paluzzi, a developer known for reverse engineering apps and finding early versions of upcoming updates, revealed that Meta was working on this ability to delete a Threads profile without getting rid of an Instagram account.
#Threads is working on the ability to delete your profile 👀
— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) September 21, 2023
According to the screenshots shared by Paluzzi, Meta will permanently delete a user’s data 30 days after deleting a Threads profile. Furthermore, users will not be able to open a new Threads account with the same Instagram account for up to 120 days.
Threads appeared on track to be a smash hit at launch. However, engagement on Threads appears to have dropped off as quickly as it had risen — and the app has seen a staggering 70% decline in the number of daily active users since its peak.
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.