META PLANS FEED FOR THREADS AFTER USERS COMPLAIN

META PLANS FEED FOR THREADS AFTER USERS COMPLAIN

By Chris Vallance and Tom Gerken

Technology reporters

Threads will add an alternative home feed of posts as part of a series of updates to the new social media app after users complained.

Instagram boss Adam Mosseri said a feed for Threads showing posts in chronological order is currently being worked on.

Users want to see posts from accounts they follow rather than chosen by Threads' algorithm.

Mr Mosseri said the new feed was "on the list" of changes to Threads.

Meta, which owns Threads, Instagram and Facebook, launched the social media app last week and more than 100 million users have signed up to use it.

Mr Mosseri said Mark Zuckerberg, Meta's chief executive, had given an alternative feed 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 Mr Mosseri, 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 Threads.net, 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.

Table showing how Threads and Twitter compare

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.

Meanwhile 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.

'Clear victory'

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.

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