In an effort to enhance user interface and functionality, Meta has introduced a slew of updates to its Threads application. These exciting new features include the ability to follow specific conversations, an updated post activity display, and the option to quote posts on the desktop version. Although a Thread editing option is not yet available, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has hinted at its imminent arrival.
Tracking Conversations Just Got Easier
Threads now allow its users to follow a specific Thread within the app without the necessity to follow the user. By simply tapping on the bell icon, users can receive updates about a particular conversation, with alerts for Thread replies active for the following 24 hours. This new feature could serve as a useful tool for users to stay on top of essential conversations and gain insights from diverse opinions. As Threads expands its reach as a source of breaking news, this feature could prove invaluable.
Desktop Quoting and Improved Post Activity Display
In addition to conversation tracking, Threads has rolled out a feature enabling users to quote posts on the desktop version. Users can now click on the "repost" logo under the post they wish to quote and select "quote". This addition marks another stride in Threads' ongoing effort to enhance its functionality. Furthermore, Threads has updated its post activity display, providing a more comprehensive view of each post's likes, reports, and quotes separately.
Rendering Recommendations and Moderation
However, Threads is still dependent on a user's Instagram graph for recommendations, which may not always yield the best matches. This is because the assortment of accounts users follow on Instagram may differ greatly from those on Threads. The issue of moderation has also been a point of focus for Threads recently. Users have noted that searches for "COVID" and related terms yield no results, redirecting users to the CDC website for official information instead. This has been interpreted by some as a restriction of free speech and discussion, potentially impacting the app's growth.
Temporary Search Restrictions
Threads has come under scrutiny for censoring search activity for several terms. The Washington Post discovered that the app restricts searches for terms such as "sex," "nude," "gore," and "porn," among others. Meta has addressed these concerns by stating that these are only temporary restrictions, promising to re-enable search functionality for these terms when they are confident in the quality of the results.
Threads' Future Potential
Despite the challenges, Threads continues to persevere in its quest to compete with platforms like Twitter and X. The lack of an API, a separate algorithm, improved display of multi-Threads, and hashtags are all areas that could benefit from further development. However, Meta assures that these aspects are in various stages of development. It remains to be seen whether Threads can capitalize on its early interest and deliver a viable alternative. Regardless, anecdotal reports suggest that Threads usage has seen an uptick following Elon Musk's recent tiff with the ADL, indicating that the app is gaining recognition.