Instagram’s messaging app, Threads, has received several new feature updates today, according to an announcement (only accessible from the app) from the Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The updates include the ability to share Threads posts to Instagram direct messages (DM), add custom alt text for accessibility, and easily mention other users.
These new features come amid sluggish user growth and retention for the app since its launch last month. Threads intended to capitalize on Instagram’s popularity and take on Twitter (or X) but has struggled to keep users engaged.
New updates to Threads this week:
Directly share a post to your Instagram DMs
Custom alt-text for photo/video
New mention button to easily mention someone’s account in your Thread
To send a Threads post to someone through a direct message, tap the “paper airplane” icon on the post. This will allow you to select recipients and send it privately. The “Send to Instagram” feature may help drive more use by allowing Threads users to share content to Instagram DMs. But it’s unclear if that will improve the app’s traction dramatically.
To add alternative text descriptions to an image or video on a new post, start creating the post, attach your media using the paperclip icon, then tap the “Alt” button on the image. The ability to add custom alt text for photos and videos is aimed at improving accessibility for blind and low-vision users.
Also, Zuckerberg stated that the new mention button makes it easy to “mention someone’s account in your Thread.”
On the other hand, Threads users can access the platform on the Web in the next few weeks through a web version. Additionally, the platform will launch a proper search feature that can surface specific posts rather than just user accounts.
While Threads continues to iterate with new features, the app does not seem to have become the X competitor Meta had hoped for. User growth has tapered off after an initial spike at launch. Last week, Mark Zuckerberg said Threads saw a significant user drop after its launch. Over half of Threads’ users stopped using the text-based app within weeks of its release.