As Elon Musk awaits his doctor’s permission to fight Mark Zuckerberg in an on-again / off-again cage match, the two billionaires’ companies continue to spar in the consumer adoption arena. Meta forged ahead with Threads’ aggressive update schedule today as it tries to challenge Musk’s erratic X (rebranded Twitter). Zuckerberg announced today that the young platform now supports sharing posts to Instagram DMs, custom alt text for photos and videos and a new mention button.
The Send on Instagram option lets users publish their Threads posts directly to Instagram DMs via the Send button. The feature could be seen as one of the “retention-driving hooks” Meta cooked up to ensure “people who are on the Instagram app can see important Threads,” as Reuters reported Chief Product Officer Chris Cox said in a recent company meeting. The strategy is allegedly tied to reports of falling engagement after the fledgling platform added over 100 million users in less than a week. Zuckerberg reportedly described the decline as “normal” and expected retention to grow as Meta continues to flesh out the social channel, which launched in early July.
Meanwhile, the custom alt-text option is an accessibility feature allowing Threads users to add (or edit existing auto-generated) alt text for photos and videos before uploading. The new mention button makes it easier to tag profiles in your Threads posts. Finally, the platform is making it easier to verify your identity on fediverse platforms like Mastodon. “You can now add your Threads profile link on supported platforms to verify your identity,” Instagram head Adam Mosseri posted today.
These are only the latest additions Meta has rolled out in the past few weeks. It announced earlier this month that a much-needed web version is on the way, offering desktop use for the first time, along with a proper search function. Other post-launch additions include a chronological feed and the ability to sort your following list and view your liked posts.