Meta sets out new features for Threads app after signing over 100M users in a week

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Meta sets out new features for Threads app after signing over 100M users in a week

Threads is looking into adding an alternative home feed, of only posts, in chronological order, from the people each individual user follows, according to Instagram boss Adam Mosseri.

It currently shows a mix of recommended content and posts from those followed.

Threads was billed as an “initial version” at launch and the company has signalled more features are to come.

But a planned system to make Threads compatible with some other apps, such as Mastodon, has met with resistance.

Instagram, which is owned by Meta, built the Threads app.

Mr Mosseri posted the alternative home feed for Threads was “on the list” – a suggestion owner Mark Zuckerberg had given a “thumbs up”, after a number of users expressed frustration at not being offered a feed of posts from people they followed, in the order in which they were posted.

Other features “on the list”, according the Instagram supremo, include:
-an ability to edit posts
-translation into different languages
-making it easy to switch between different Threads accounts

While it is possible to view Threads on the web, via, there is no desktop interface – posts can be made only via the app – and that too was something the company was “working on”, according to Mr Mosseri.

There is also no search function. When it announced the app’s launch, the company said it would add a “more robust search function” along with improvements to the selection of recommended posts.

And the only way currently to fully delete a Threads profile is to delete the associated Instagram account, which many users would be reluctant to, another issue the company is looking to fix.

When Threads was launched, Meta announced it planned to allow it to communicate with other social-media platforms, such as Mastodon, using something known as the fediverse.

But this suggestion while welcomed by some, has met opposition.

The idea of the fediverse is it is like email. Someone on Gmail can exchange emails with someone using Hotmail, for example, and the fediverse could be described as that idea applied to social media.

At some point in the future Meta wants users to be able to use their Threads account to interact with other social-media platforms using ActivityPub – a protocol with the necessary programming code – such as Mastodon, WordPress or Reddit-alternative Lemmy.

But some worry Threads threatens the idea of this system altogether, because of a practice big tech companies have utilised in the past – “embrace, extend and extinguish”, when a company with a lot of resources extends what is possible from a new technology so drastically it becomes the new standard, leaving people with no choice but to use its platform.

Mastodon chief executive Eugen Rochko dismissed these fears, saying Meta joining Threads was “validation of the movement towards decentralised social media” and “a clear victory for our cause”.

But concern among users has grown with over a hundred Mastodon communities joining what they call the “fedipact” – an agreement to block Meta from being able to access their community under any circumstances – so even when Threads does begin to support ActivityPub, users will not be able to access everything on the fediverse.

One other feature coming to Threads at some point may also receive mixed reviews. There is no advertising on the platform – for now.