Threads Introduces 'Following' Feed, a Significant Update for Meta's Twitter-Like App

Twitter has undergone a sudden rebrand and is now known as X. Amid this confusion, Meta sees an opportunity to attract users who have left Twitter and want to try something new. They are introducing new features for Threads to make it more similar to the traditional Twitter experience.

One major addition is the 'Following' feed, which allows Threads users to see content exclusively from the profiles they follow within the app. This is in addition to the main 'For you' stream, which displays recommended and following content. These changes aim to bring users a more focused and personalized experience.

At its launch, Threads lacked a crucial feature - the 'Following' feed, presented in chronological order. This omission led Threads users to navigate through a stream of unfamiliar accounts, resulting in a negative experience due to the peculiar recommendations they encountered.

The issue arose because Instagram used the user's Instagram graph as a basis for Threads' interests. Consequently, Threads displayed content from accounts that users already followed or had shown interest in on Instagram. However, people use Instagram and Twitter with different intentions, causing the content shown on Threads to often diverge from what users actually wanted in their Threads stream.

With the introduction of the 'Following' feed, Threads will become more Twitter-like, granting users greater control over displayed content and likely leading to increased engagement and interaction within the app.

However, there's a potential downside: as more users switch to the 'Following' stream, their exposure to a wider range of content from accounts they don't follow might decrease, affecting Threads viewing metrics. Meta has made this option less upfront by requiring users to tap on the Threads logo to access the two tabs for the main feed and the 'Following' feed, possibly to encourage diverse content consumption and exposure for creators.

Meta aims to highlight the best-performing content across the app and promote a broader content viewing experience, rather than users narrowing their focus to niche groups. As the Threads algorithm improves and better understands user preferences, this approach might become more viable.

Additionally, Threads now includes post translations, adding further value to the user experience.

(Photo: Social Media Today)

As per this example, Threads now automatically translates posts in the feed based on the language they are written in and the language settings of the viewer. Additionally, users can manually translate posts into other languages by tapping the translation button located at the bottom right of each post.

Meta has introduced new sorting options for the 'Activity' feed, allowing users to filter listed actions by follows, quotes, and reposts. Moreover, they have added a 'Follow' button within the followers list, facilitating the process of building a feed with new voices.

To improve user activity tracking, Meta has included a new element where users can access a full listing of the posts they have liked through the 'Settings' menu. Additionally, there is an option to 'approve all' follow requests, providing another means to build a user's Threads graph. These updates are aimed at enhancing the overall user experience and making Threads more engaging and user-friendly.

These updates are quite useful, but the 'Following' feed stands out as the most significant one.

As Twitter undergoes a gradual transformation under Elon Musk's 'X' vision, now might be the perfect moment for users to explore other real-time social options. This shift could result in more former Twitter users seeking an alternative platform.

Considering the recent surge in interest for Threads (with 2 million more members added yesterday), incorporating additional Twitter-like features in the app will certainly make these users feel more comfortable and familiar with the platform.

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