Meta's Twitter rival Threads saw a lot of early success, becoming the fastest ever app to pass 150 million downloads. But if it's to slow down the 50% drop in daily active users (as noted by SimilarWeb), it needs some upgrades – and according to a leak, three big ones could be coming soon.
The social media platform is far from terrible as it is, but many users are already starting to notice that it feels like something of a Twitter Lite – with it lacking key features found on other micro-blogging platforms. Some necessary improvements could be on the way soon, however, with Insider sharing details (via a paywalled article) of a leaked Meta document that outlined three upcoming features: direct messaging, Trends & Topics, and improved search.
It’s not all sunshine and roses for the social media platform, though, with the introduction of rate limits irking some Threads users – and making the site look a little hypocritical in a few people’s eyes. That said you might not want to leave Threads too soon, as its rate limits are a little different to the ones Twitter imposed earlier this month.
More on that later, but firstly here are the three features rumored to be coming to Threads, according to that leak:
1. Direct messaging
Despite Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri stating in an interview with The Verge published on July 6 that “to start, we don’t want to do any DMs,” direct messaging was one of the upcoming features shared in the leaked Threads document. Mosseri noted in the interview that people are starting to experience “inbox fatigue” DMs are a vital part of the Twitter experience for many users, but to be a true rival Threads will need the feature.
While many people use microblogging platforms to share random thoughts or life updates with friends, family, and their followers, they’re also a place for people to show off the amazing skills they have, find work opportunities, and share first-hand experiences of major events.
Threads DMs would not only allow people to keep in contact with friends and family on the app, but they should also give content creators the ability to message potential collaborators for a project or for journalists to contact sources for a story as easily as they can on Twitter – and make it easier for these people to transition fully to Threads.
It’s unclear what form Threads DMs will take – you may only be able to message other Threads users, or it could adopt the multi-platform approach used by other Meta apps – but whatever the system is it likely won’t be long before we can try it out for ourselves.
2. Trends & Topics
For people that like keeping abreast of current affairs across a range of topics – be it politics, science, sport. Fashion or anything in between – Twitter’s Trending tab is a vital source. It provides you with an easy-to-access list of all of the biggest topics for users on the platform, and while it can sometimes feel a little random, it can also provide a lot of insight into what’s happening in the world right now.
Threads is apparently getting its own Trends & Topics feature soon too according to the leaked document shared by Insider, and hopefully, it’ll provide a similar experience to the one Twitter users are familiar with.
3. Improved search
One of the most annoying things about Threads is that the search feature only lets you look up account names – making it hard to seek out accounts and content that you aren’t already familiar with or are recommended by the algorithm. Improved search tools are apparently on the way though, and should solve this issue.
The leaked document doesn’t explain how Threads’ search tool will be improved but we suspect it’ll allows users to seek out Topics (which are being added soon) as well as account names. This would mean that whether a Topic is trending or not you can find Threads posts related to the content you’re interested in, and should make it easier to curate your timeline.
In less good news: rate limits
Yes, you read that right. Rate limits – the infuriating Twitter change that helped convince people to try Threads when it launched – are being used by Meta’s platform now too after Mosseri confirmed this in a post on Threads on Monday, July 17. That said, it’s something of an apples and oranges situation even if the term being used is the same.
Unlike Twitter, it appears that Meta is only putting restrictions on accounts it believes are run by spammers rather than limiting everyone (even if they pay up) as Twitter has done. Additionally, if you’re incorrectly targeted by Threads you can go through a verification process to lift the limits – though users who have done this say it can take a few days.
This is certainly annoying and may convince people to ditch Threads as well, but at least it’s not quite as bad as the restrictions imposed by Twitter.
Sticking with Threads? Here are 7 things you need to know about Instagram's Twitter killer and our guide for How to use Threads so you can get to grips with Instagram’s Twitter rival.
Sign up for Black Friday email alerts!
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.