After launching its text-based social network Threads in July, Meta faced criticism as there was no way for users to delete their Threads account without deleting their Instagram account. The company is now preparing to roll out a separate account deletion for Threads by December.
At TechCrunch Disrupt last week, Michel Protti, Meta’s chief privacy officer for product, said that Meta is working on launching the actual deletion feature of a Threads account by December.
As Threads is tied to Instagram, Protti said the company deliberated a lot about how to tackle deletion requests at the beginning. He mentioned that it was technically challenging to separate those two accounts at launch. So the company ended up rolling out tools such as the ability to deactivate the account or setting 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. So 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,” Protti said.
He also said that while Meta is working on integrating Threads with the fediverse, the company is also evaluating situations like what happens when a Threads post goes to another server and is then deleted by the author.
After launching in July, Threads quickly reached the 100 million sign-up mark. However, over the last few months, the popularity of the platform has dwindled. While the company has introduced much sought-after features such as a following feed, a web app and full-text search, the level of engagement is not what Meta hoped for. In a recent AMA on Instagram Stories, the app’s head Adam Mosseri said that the company needs to roll out better recommendations for accounts, make messaging easier and build an edit button for posts.