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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.

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Trevor Mogg
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