Threads just got another big free update, and this time it's a welcome one

Threads' engineers keep adding new features, and this time it's the turn of some sillier stuff

Threads on iPhone
(Image credit: Future)

Of the various new-Twitters, the most popular is Threads: the Meta-owned social network now has around 100 million unique monthly users, compared to around 1 million for Bluesky and 2 million for Mastodon. But the network is very much a work in progress and still lacks some key features – so for example direct messages are still absent. But the flow of new features is coming fast (not always successfully) and Threads just added two new ones. It's also testing two more.

The two new features are relatively minor but were pretty popular on Twitter: the ability to post those all-important GIF reactions, and the ability to create polls. Both features are available in the app and online now. They work just as you'd expect, with a GIF picker similar to the one in Twitter and the option to have three or four poll options and a 24-hour countdown timer.

Threads: more Twitter-esque features, more ex-Twitter users

Threads is also testing two other features: pinned posts and view counts. The former enables you to pick one of your posts and pin it to the top of your profile so it's the first thing people looking at your profile will see – handy for promoting links to your other online presences or just showing a favourite post – and the latter is a way to see how many people are reading a post without necessarily interacting with it. Those two features are currently available to only a select number of users before rolling out to everyone.

Threads' numbers are still smaller than X, the network formerly known as Twitter, but while those numbers are rising X's are falling and falling fast. According to SimilarWeb, X's monthly active users have fallen 14.8% globally and 17.8% in the US since Elon Musk took over. 

One of the big things currently absent from Threads is advertising, and it's clearly something that will come eventually: we're talking about Meta, after all. But it looks like for the time being Meta is playing a long game, trying to reduce irritations in Threads to encourage more people to move from X. And so far that strategy appears to be working.

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 (