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Threads is ripping Twitter apart and taking over as one of the fastest social apps to gain popularity. As it’s so new, there are a lot of features that might not be so obvious. Here are just a few we’ve found during the initial launch, including muting people and quickly following other Threads users.
If you’re unfamiliar with Threads, that means you’re not one of the 100 million people to sign up in just a matter of days. That figure was released by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg only a couple of days ago, so the real number is likely to be much higher at the time of writing.
The social app is a hybrid between Instagram and Twitter, as it was developed by Meta, the owner of Instagram. Since its rollout, it’s taken on the social personality of Instagram with the format people appreciated on Twitter. Go figure, “threads” just refers to the format most content comes in.
Contrary to its incredible resemblance to the increasingly unstable social giant, Threads has a few features that haven’t been quite so publicly advertised.
One of the biggest “duh, why didn’t this exist before?!” features in Threads is the Quick Follow feature. Rather than diving into someone’s profile and hitting the Follow button, you can simply tap the plus icon next to their user handle and confirm you want to follow them.
We found this most useful when first setting up the new app. Since the app connects to Instagram, there are a ton of useful follow suggestions at the ready. Tapping the little plus icon next to everyone I already know means I can go on a following spree.
New thread shortcut
Each post is called a “thread,” unsurprisingly. Users can string multiple together to create a long-form post that always ties back to the original content. In normal use, you can draft a post and tap “Add to a thread” to tag a secondary post onto it. This creates your long-form thread before it’s even posted.
Rather than hitting “Add to thread,” Threads has included a neat trick. Simply draft your first post and then hit enter on your keyboard three times. That third tap will trigger a new thread and will move the cursor to a blank slate that’s automatically connected to the previous post.
This can be done over and over again to create a huge thread. While it’s almost just as easy to tap in the new post box to create a new tagged thread, the trigger has a place in muscle memory and comes in handy.
My experience with Threads initially consisted of a homepage that was pulled straight from the Instagram algorithm, filled with content I could care less about. The more people you follow in Threads, the more your home screen is filled with content you’re more apt to appreciate, but it does take some training.
If you come across accounts you don’t want to hear from, you have the option to “mute” that Threads user. The feature is pretty common across social platforms, but that doesn’t make it any less useful. All you need to do is hit the three-dots menu on a post from the Threads account you want to mute. When it appears, hit the Mute option.
Muting someone in Threads hides their posts from you and allows you to browse without seeing their content. The account you mute won’t know you muted them.
Another useful content blocker is the hidden words feature. By heading into the Privacy page from your profile, you can find and tap Hidden Words.
This section allows you to hide both offensive replies and replies that contain specified words or phrases. At the bottom of that page, you can enter certain words or phrases you don’t want to see.
This feature doesn’t seem to hide posts that you haven’t interacted with, much like Twitter’s hidden feature. That feature was useful for hiding spoiler posts or muting certain topics, though it has a different application here.
Threads is still brand-new, so there will be more features to come as the app progresses. There is already an Android beta open to the public. It should house a good few features before they fully release. With over 100 million accounts in a matter of days, there’s no reason that the app should hit a standstill on tools to make using the app a better experience.
Threads will get more features, and you can try them early on Android – here’s how
Meta’s Threads has seen explosive growth in its two days of availability so far, and while it’s a solid start, what the platform really needs is more features. On Android, you can now sign up for a beta version of Threads to access those new features early.
As confirmed by one of Meta’s engineers working on Threads, there’s now an official beta program for the app on the Google Play Store that’s open to all Android users.
The beta program, as usual, comes with a higher risk for instability within the app, but it also comes with the promise of bringing new features early. There’s no word on what might be coming first, but there’s a huge list of asks from the millions who have already signed up.
Just a few examples of frequently asked-for features that Threads has already confirmed being in the works include:
- A feed that only includes accounts you follow
- Delete your Threads account without deleting Instagram
- Multiple account support
- Thread translation
No early beta releases have come out, but you can join the program now. Just tap “become a tester” to sign up, then check for updates in the Play Store.
In less than a week, Threads – the new microblogging platform from Instagram – has reached 100 million users, and the Google Play Store reveals how many of those are from Android.
At present, Meta’s Threads is only available on iOS and Android through each platform’s respective app store. While a web app is surely planned – and was briefly spotted live – Threads can only be accessed from smartphones and tablets.
Despite that limitation, it seems Threads has found significant success in its initial launch, with many people seeking a mainstream alternative to Twitter following that platform’s recent string of user-hostile moves. According to a post from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, over 100 million people have signed up for Threads in just five days.
Threads reached 100 million sign ups over the weekend. That’s mostly organic demand and we haven’t even turned on many promotions yet. Can’t believe it’s only been 5 days!
Of those 100 million users, it seems a significant portion of them are Android device owners. The Google Play Store publicly displays the download count of various apps, albeit only as a generic milestone such as “1M+ downloads.” Notably, this doesn’t count how many individuals have downloaded an app but how many devices it’s been installed on. So if a single user installs an app on both their phone and tablet, that counts as two downloads.
According to the app’s Play Store listing, Threads for Android has been downloaded over 50 million times since its July 5 launch. This suggests that Android currently accounts for close to half the service’s 100 million users.
On the one hand, this figure may seem to be on the low side, as the latest data from Statista shows Android as having approximately 70% of the global mobile market share, while iOS accounts for approximately 28%. That said, Threads is currently unavailable in Europe – where Android enjoys a healthier lead over iOS than in the United States – due to “upcoming regulatory uncertainty,” per a statement to The Verge.