New Delhi: Instagram Threads, the rival to Musk’s X, is on a roll, introducing new features like polls and GIF support. In quick succession, the app has added a web version, a free edit button, profile switching, likes, full-text search, a chronological feed, voice posts, and more. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO, is optimistic, hinting that Threads could become Meta’s next billion-user sensation.
These projections may seem ambitious, especially as Threads currently has just under 100 million monthly active users, as Zuckerberg mentioned. However, they don’t account for the remarkable appeal of X, which has retained its U.S. power users and increased daily user engagement, as per recent reports. Despite declines in other metrics like overall daily active usage, monthly usage, and website traffic, X continues to captivate its audience.
Threads is in a race to captivate and involve its users by swiftly introducing features that Twitter enthusiasts have grown to adore.
Polls, in particular, have emerged as a beloved tool on Twitter and X for driving engagement. They empower even those who don’t post frequently to express their opinions on various topics, ensuring their voices are heard. For those conducting polls, it’s an excellent way to attract new followers and gain insights from a broad audience without the formality of a traditional survey. Beyond their utility, they also add a fun dimension, allowing people to seek advice on what’s for dinner or which movie to catch, among other personal queries.
Elon Musk, the owner of X, has embraced polls to guide pivotal decisions following the acquisition, such as whether he should step down as the company’s head, grant amnesty to banned accounts, or resurrect Vine, the short video platform Twitter discontinued in 2016.
On Threads, polls have a 24-hour lifespan, and you have control over who can participate, much like managing responses to a post. It’s all about engaging with your audience in a dynamic and interactive way.
In 2020, Meta paid $400 million to buy the GIF search engine Giphy, but the U.K. competition authority’s antitrust decision caused it to be sold. Shutterstock purchased the website for a mere $53 million, which was the company’s valuation. Unsurprisingly, Threads’ new GIFs feature is powered by Giphy. Even newer generations occasionally view them as “cringe,” they nevertheless have an attraction for all internet users.
To include a GIF in a post, tap the GIF icon and choose the one you want. As of right present, posts can only have one GIF attached.
Although adding polls and GIFs to Threads, the Twitter clone, may not be groundbreaking, it’s a move that brings the app closer to X and ahead of some potential X competitors like the startup Bluesky, which doesn’t yet support GIFs. While these features are currently available on the Threads mobile app, they have yet to make their way to the web version.
To truly position itself as a competitor to X, Threads needs to go beyond feature replication despite now offering audio and video calls. X excels as a real-time news source and trend discovery platform, making it a significant draw for users. While Instagram’s head, Adam Mosseri, has stated that Threads won’t prioritize news, the app has been seen working on a Trending Topics feature, adding a Twitter-like dimension. The timing and public launch of this feature remain uncertain, but Threads is definitely taking steps to elevate its competitive edge.