Now also in GermanyWhat parents need to know about the new Threads app

The messaging app Threads from Meta is now also available in Germany. Threads broke records in June - over 100 million users signed up within just four days. Only not in the European Union. Threads can now be downloaded from the most popular app stores in the EU. In our article, we explain the risks of the Threads app and what parents should now bear in mind.

Threads is a new messaging app that is closely linked to Instagram . To be able to use it to its full extent, you must already have an Instagram account. Without an Instagram account, you can read other users' posts, but you cannot post, comment or interact with them yourself. The functions of Threads are very similar to the X platform (formerly Twitter). Threads allows you to share short messages that can be expanded into longer conversations. Images, videos and links can also be integrated into the posts.

Is Threads safe for children and teenagers?

Minimum age

Threads sets a minimum age of 13 years in the platform's terms of use. We have explained why platforms set a minimum age in this article.
Please note: The age ratings in the major app stores differ from this (as of 15.12.2023). In the Google Play Store, Threads is released with a USK from 12 years. Threads is also available in the Apple App Store from the age of 12.

Link with Instagram

To use Threads to its full extent, an Instagram account is required. It is not possible to create only a Threads account. Parents should therefore bear in mind that their child will most likely use both platforms. You can find more information about Instagram and whether the platform is suitable for children and young people in our Instagram topic area.

Safe settings

A profile on Threads can be set up as "public" or "private". The account of people under the age of 18 is set to "private" when they first log in. This also applies if the linked Instagram account is "public". However, when you register, you are immediately offered the option of setting your account to "public" with a single click. The secure default settings are therefore very easy to bypass. Content posted by a private account is only visible to followers of this account and only they can interact with the content. The exact differences between a public and a private profile can be found on this Threads information page.

Toset an account to "private": Click on the profile at the bottom right > Click on the two bars at the top right (settings) > Click on "Privacy" > Switch on "Private profile".

Parental control for threads

Parents can link their Instagram account to their child's account. Parent supervision works for the child's activities on both Instagram and Threads. Parental Controls includes the following features:

  • Viewing time spent on Instagram and Threads
  • Setting a daily time limit for Instagram and Threads
  • Setting break times for Instagram and threads
  • View the list of all followers or accounts that are followed
  • Notifications about new followers and new accounts that are followed
  • View privacy and sensitive contentsettings
  • Insight into blocked accounts

How to find the parent supervisor in Threads: Click on the profile at the bottom right > Click on the two bars at the top right (settings) > Click on "Account" > Click on "Parent supervisor".

Report, delete, block

Threads offer the option of deleting or reporting content. Accounts that you no longer wish to interact with can also be blocked.

This allows you to report, delete or block a post: If you click on the three dots next to a post, a menu with the various options will open. Parents should familiarize their children with these functions as a preventative measure and offer to help if there are problems using threads.

Risks with threads

Since all users can publish content on threads, there may also be texts, images and videos with illegal or adult content. Although such content violates the thread guidelines, it may remain visible on the platform until it is discovered and deleted. Such content can be, for example Disinformation, glorification of self-harming behavior, political or religious extremism.

It is therefore important to supervisemedia use in an age-appropriate manner and to keep asking about the child's online experiences. We have provided practical tips on how parents can initiate such a conversationin this article described.

Threads make it possible to interactwith strangers. There is therefore a risk of cybergrooming and cyberbullying. We offer lots of information and materials on both topics in our topic areas.

Further information from klicksafe