Meta’s Threads, a brainchild of the Instagram team and the latest venture by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has made quite a splash with over 100 million sign-ups within a few days. This microblogging platform with an interface echoing Twitter’s charm has been touted as an alternative to Twitter.
Despite its initial surge, Threads, as a nascent platform, lacks several features that Twitter, the seasoned microblogging site, possesses. Here are some key features absent from Threads that are currently available on Twitter:
1. Absence of Hashtags: Twitter trends ride the wave of hashtags, a feature currently missing from Threads. However, considering Meta’s Instagram and Facebook platforms’ prevalent use of hashtags, Threads is likely to incorporate this feature soon.
2. No Web Version: Unlike Twitter, which is accessible on any web browser, Threads is app-exclusive. The official website, Threads.net, merely redirects users to the app’s Android or iOS versions.
3. Lack of Edit Feature: Threads, as of now, does not allow users to edit their posts once published, necessitating deleting or creating a new post. Given this feature’s availability on Instagram and Facebook, it’s likely that Threads will soon incorporate it.
4. No Direct Messaging: Currently, Threads does not facilitate private messaging between users, a popular feature on Twitter which even recently added end-to-end encryption for heightened privacy.
5. AI-Generated Alt Text: Alt text, or alternative text, is an image or video’s description. Threads presently employs computer-generated alternative text, contrasting Twitter, which permits users to customize alt text, thus making it more accessible to screen reader users.
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6. Absence of Trending Topics: One of Twitter’s distinctive features, trending topics, currently does not have a place on Threads. Instagram CEO’s interaction with The Verge suggested that Threads is not intended for “Hard News”, implying that a trending topic section may not be on the horizon.
7. No Advertisements: A potential advantage for some users, Threads does not display ads, unlike Twitter. Mark Zuckerberg hinted that advertisements on Threads would likely not appear unless the platform amasses a billion users.
8. Inability to Embed Threads Posts: Users wishing to embed a Threads post on their blog will find themselves at a loss as the feature is not currently supported, unlike on Twitter.
9. No Separate Following Feed: Twitter provides a “For you” and a “Following” feed, allowing users to specifically view posts from their followings. Threads, however, integrates both trending posts and posts from followers into a single feed.
10. No Chronological Feed: Twitter allows users to enable a chronological feed, though not by default. In contrast, Threads currently generates feeds randomly.
With the evolution of digital platforms being an ongoing process, it will be interesting to see how Threads develops to bridge these feature gaps and carve its niche in the microblogging sphere.