Threads' first big update is here, but its must-have feature is still missing

Meta's possible Twitter-killer just got better, but the most requested feature still isn't there

Threads app icon on iPhone 14 Pro Max
(Image credit: Rik Henderson / Future)

Threads, Meta's rushed-out rival to Twitter, just got a massive upgrade – but the one feature everybody's asking for, and which Meta says is in development, isn't here yet. There's still no chronological timeline, so your feed remains a mix of people you follow and people you wouldn't want to follow for all the money in the world.

According to Meta engineer Cameron Roth, who shared details of the update on – where else? – Threads, the new features are:

- 👓 translations!
- 👥 follows tab on activity feed
- 🔔 subscribe to unfollowed users
- ❤️ activity feed scrolling + loading improvements
- 👀 following + on thread replies page
- 👆 tappable reposter labels
- 📸 open the IG followers list
- 🔧 a few small crash fixes. we're now at 0.02%📉
- 🔪 more binary size cuts
- 🐞 a handful of other small bugs

How to get the new Threads features

There's a new version of the app available now in both the iOS and Google stores, so getting the new features should just be a matter of updating the app. 

The update comes at the same time as the inevitable news that Threads users are spending less time in the app than they did last week: the new-app excitement has worn off, and according to US analysts SimilarWeb the number of active daily users has declined from 49 million on 7 July to 23.6 million on 14 July. That's not surprising, and Mark Zuckerberg for one doesn't seem concerned. 

Meanwhile on Twitter, Elon Musk appears to be giving large sums of money to users such as alleged rapist and human trafficker Andrew Tate while claiming that the service is in financial trouble: on 15 July he posted that Twitter had negative cashflow because of a large amount of debt and a massive 50% drop in advertising revenue. It's unclear how incentivising some of the most horrendous accounts on Twitter is intended to persuade advertisers to come back, but the blue ticks on Twitter seem sure there's a genius plan in there somewhere. 

The ongoing self-sabotage of Twitter – which has caused some observers to suggest that the next step is bankruptcy, which would free Elon Musk of the huge debts he ran up acquiring the service and which is something Musk has hinted about on multiple occasions – is a golden opportunity for Threads, as well as for lesser-known services such as BlueSky. But it's Threads that's most likely to benefit, not least because BlueSky is still invitation-only while Threads is opening its virtual if unfinished arms to everybody. 

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (