Skip to main content

Threads adds a bunch of new features in first notable update

Threads got off to an amazing start earlier this month when around 100 million people quickly signed up to check out the new Twitter-like app from Meta.

User engagement with Threads may have dipped since then, but the Instagram team that built the app knows that it’ll take time to secure a loyal following.

To have a chance of success, the work will involve rolling out a steady stream of updates to knock Threads into shape and make it more appealing. The first notable update came on Tuesday, introduced by Cameron Roth, a developer on the Threads team.

A list of new features for the Threads app.

New features — currently for iOS only — include translations for posts in a foreign language, and a follows tab.

Alas, the new follows tab isn’t like the following tab found on Twitter, which lets you see posts only from the people you follow, in chronological order. Instead, Threads’ follows tab merely shows you a list of people following your account. It also includes filters for quotes and reposts so you can zone in on any activity around your posts.

In addition, there’s now a way to subscribe to users who, for whatever reason, you don’t want to follow, so you’ll receive a notification each time they post.

Roth added that the app should now load up and function more smoothly than before, making for a more enjoyable user experience.

The update is being rolled out to Threads users throughout Wednesday, Roth confirmed, adding that it might be worth restarting the app if the new features aren’t showing by the end of the day.

Features noticeable by their absence include a chronological feed, hashtags for easy searches, and the ability to send direct messages, so hopefully, the Threads team is hard at work on those, too.

Threads picked up a lot of users at the start partly thanks to its close integration with Instagram, which makes it easy to create an account with pretty much an instant community. Recent disruptions at Twitter since Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company in October have also left many frustrated Twitter users looking for an alternative social media platform. It’s too early to say if Threads is it.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Threads users falling away in large numbers, data suggests
Instagram Threads app.

Threads may have had the best start of any app to date with 100 million downloads in the first five days after launch earlier this month, but new data suggests the road ahead may be a  rocky one.

On its best day on July 7, a couple of days after launch, Twitter-like Threads surged to more than 49 million daily active users on Android globally, but by July 14 the figure had already fallen by nearly half to 23.6 million, according to research by analytics firm SimilarWeb.

Read more
Twitter goes after ‘copycat’ app Threads
A stylized composite of the Twitter logo.

With Meta’s new Threads app having picked up 30 million users on its first day, it’s little wonder Twitter is upset.

In fact, it’s so put out by Meta’s very similar app that it’s now threatening to sue the company, accusing it of violating Twitter’s intellectual property rights.

Read more
The 10 big ways that Threads is totally different from Twitter
A series of mobile screenshots showing off the Threads app on a black background.

Threads is here and already has millions of sign-ups, no doubt due to the ease of its joining process, its immediate availability for both Android and iOS users, and the fact that its user interface shares lots of familiar features with its main competitor, Twitter.

But what about the differences between the two microblogging platforms? How has Threads already distinguished itself from Twitter? Like many Twitter users, you might be hungry for an alternative and are wondering how Meta's app differs from Twitter and if those differences are worth signing up for and learning how to navigate yet another social media app.

Read more