Instagram sure launched Threads at an opportune time, but its quickness came at the cost of several features. In its first five days, more than 100 million people had already downloaded and signed up for Threads. While it’s undoubtedly off to a strong start, users have been quick to point out that the app is lacking some essential features, like the option to edit images and send direct messages.
Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, has confirmed that his team is working on adding many of the features early users have been asking for. Features like a following feed, expanded search options, and even an edit button should arrive soon, as Mosseri mentioned in a Threads post. But the app will need more than just that to compete with the Twitter experience. Here are some features users hope to see on Threads in the near future.
On Twitter, users can create Lists, or curated feeds of accounts they are interested in so that they see those tweets first. It is a feature that saves time and ensures users being shown exactly the types of content they want to see. At the moment, Threads, seems to show posts to users randomly, without any particular order or indication of preference. Lists would give users better control over their feed.
14 See Quoted Posts (For Other Users)
Threads allows users to write original posts, repost content from others’ accounts, or quote them with their own commentary. However, all the posts appear in the same feed, making it hard to differentiate between the original posts and the ones the user quoted. Threads could use a separate section for quoted posts so that if someone goes through a user’s profile, it is clear which posts are quoted from another account. Twitter also enables users to find quoted replies to a tweet, which Threads users might also want.
13 See Your Likes
Both Twitter and Instagram have sections that compile all the posts users have liked. This feature helps users track posts they might want to refer back to, whether they contain useful information or simply come up in a conversation later. Unfortunately, Threads doesn’t have such a feature yet. There’s a good chance that the platform is already working on it, though, since it’s available in some form on its sibling platforms.
Social media platforms are all about connecting and interacting with others, and polls have become a popular way for users to engage with their followers. Users often create digital polls to help with decision-making or to spark friendly competition, allowing others to weigh in on whatever the topic may be. On Twitter, users can create polls in tweets, and on Instagram, users can run polls in Stories or group chats with three or more people. Hopefully, polls will find their way to Threads soon, too.
11 Alt Text For Images
Alt text, or alternative text, for images, is an important accessibility feature that allows images to be paired with a detailed description that can be read aloud by screen readers. Alt text can also otherwise inform users of what’s shown in a photo if the image doesn’t load. Many social platforms including Twitter now support alt text, and Threads should catch up quickly.
10 An Image Editor
An image editor is a must-have for apps like Threads. Considering the app was made by the Instagram team, it’s surprising that it launched without one. Instagram has a solid image editor that enables users to adjust the orientation, exposure settings, shadows, filters, and more. Even Twitter has a rather capable image editor that allows users to apply filters, crop images in different aspect ratios, and add emojis.
Threads needs to add a drafts feature, and soon. Many users prepare their posts well in advance or will revisit ideas later after deciding against sharing a post at a certain moment. As it stands, users can only create a post or discard it on the platform, but there’s no option to save a post as a draft. Instagram has long had the feature for image posts and Reels, and Twitter allows users to save drafts of their unposted tweets.
8 Usable Desktop Interface
Even in 2023, a significant number of people prefer to use a desktop over a smartphone for consuming content on the internet. Unfortunately, Threads doesn’t offer a usable desktop version, at least not at the moment. Users can view posts on threads.net but can’t like, reply, or post any from the website. Almost all popular social or communication apps, including WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, Snapchat, and Twitter, have a dedicated desktop version.
It might come as a surprise, but Threads doesn’t have an in-built option to add GIFs. Users can add GIFs using third-party keyboards like Google Keyboard or Giphy, but there’s no native option for posting GIFs. Instagram has long had a GIF sticker in Stories and recently added the ability to post GIF comments, which may be a good sign of what’s ahead for Threads.
6 Search For Posts
Somehow, Threads doesn’t have a search bar for posts. The current search menu allows users to enter the name or username of other users, but that’s it. All major social media platforms have a search tool for users to find specific types of content, including topics and trending posts, and the absence of such a feature on Threads is glaring. Without a dedicated search tool for posts, it’s challenging to find anything of interest on the platform.
5 Edit Button
Many users are also hoping Threads will add an edit button, which would let users make changes to the content they’ve published on the platform. The edit feature allows users to correct typos or add related updates to a post, especially for professional users. While Twitter lets users modify tweets only with the Blue subscription, Instagram lets users edit captions and details like tagged people for free.
Threads doesn’t have a direct messages section yet, a staple feature for any social or communication app in 2023. Due to this, users cannot really indulge in conversations on the app itself. They’ll have to switch to Instagram or some other platform to discuss something they saw on Threads, or initiate a public response as a reply. The app could club its DM section with Instagram or at least allow users to send private reactions to each other.
3 Hashtag Support
One of the most important features that lets users discover content on social media is the hashtag. Hashtags allow for easy grouping of posts with a similar topic, making it easy for users to find them. The other way around, it helps users categorize their posts to reach the right audience. With such a large user base, it is essential for threads to introduce a grouping feature that allows creators and end-users to discover content, and hashtags would be a great option.
2 Following Feed
The Following feed lets users see posts uploaded by people they follow on a platform. This separation allows users to choose whether they want to view posts from people they are close with or explore new posts from strangers on the app. Threads’ parent app Instagram provides a Favorites Feed, which is essentially an adaptation of the following feed but with more refinement, yet Threads still doesn’t have one even in the most basic form. Twitter has long offered the feature.
1 Option To Delete Threads Without Deleting Instagram
Since its launch, Threads has been criticized for not providing an option to totally ditch the app without deleting one’s Instagram account. Although the official support page says that the app is working on it, it makes no sense as to why Instagram would do this in the first place. If users don’t like the Threads experience, they should be allowed to leave the app without worrying that their Instagram account will vanish with it. There are a few workarounds for this, such as hiding the Threads badge from one’s profile and creating a temporary Instagram account for using Threads, but they aren’t sufficient alternatives to deleting an account entirely.