No desktop Threads app as yet, but Meta’s Twitter-clone has rolled out another slew of updates, as it steadily builds on its feature set, in the hopes of capitalizing on its early interest.
First off, Threads has added a new “Send on Instagram” option, which enables you to directly share a Thread to your IG DMs.
That leans into the rising use of DMs as a connective option, with Instagram chief Adam Mosseri noting that users now share way more content via DM than they do in feed posts or Stories.
As such, this may help to tie Threads engagement into that process. The options to add a Thread as a feed post or Story were already present in the app.
Threads is also rolling out custom alt-text, so you can add descriptions to photos, or edit auto-generated alt-text tags, before posting.
While it’s also adding a new “Mention” button on profiles, so you can more easily mention an account in your post.
Which seems slightly unnecessary. Like, how hard is it to type in @ and find the relevant handle? But maybe it’ll help to maximize mentions, and drive more engagement between Threads users.
Threads also recently added the capacity to sort your following list (by who you followed first/last), along with a new section in your Settings where you can view the Threads that you’ve liked.
Threads has also taken some more steps towards integrating ActivityPub, with support for rel=me links, which will eventually enable users to verify their identity on other platforms that support fediverse protocols.
That’s still a way off being a thing, but the idea is that Threads will be Meta’s way into the next wave of decentralized social media tools, providing an easier pathway for Meta users to connect into these more open services.
It’s still too early to say whether Threads will be able to capitalize on its early interest, and become a viable replacement for Twitter, as more users seek an alternative to Elon Musk’s rapidly changing app.
The rebrand to X has prompted many to reconsider whether the platform still suits their purpose, while Musk’s repeated attacks on “mainstream journalists” continue to alienate one of the platform’s key user groups.
Which could end up having a bigger impact on the app formerly known as Twitter than Musk seems to think. A key element of Twitter’s value was that journalists loved it, as it kept them linked into the latest news as it happened, providing a valuable resource both for sourcing and sharing news updates.
If those same journalists decide to stop using X, and head to Threads instead, I suspect the impacts will be significant for Elon’s app. Musk has repeatedly shown that he’s not concerned about such, even laughing off the fact that a major news organization in Australia has opted to leave X completely. But there’s a reason why previous Twitter management had a dedicated media relations team, and dedicated policies to keep high-profile writers tweeting in the app.
Threads usage has declined significantly since its hyped launch, and downloads of the platform have slowed, and it’s still not available in EU as yet. But maybe, with a desktop app, which is coming soon, more news organizations will start to be more active, which could still see Threads build on that early interest.