Threads, Meta's rival to Twitter, keeps adding new features – but not all of those features have been received with whoops of joy. As we reported last month, the addition of a new automated crossposting feature, which took your Threads posts and stuck them in front of people on Instagram and Facebook, wasn't universally popular. So I'm pleased to see that Meta is apparently going to change it.
The change hasn't happened yet but it's in code spotted by reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi (via Engadget). In the code there's a new toggle, "Allow your posts to be suggested on..." with on/off toggles for both Facebook and Instagram.
That means it's going to be opt-out rather than opt-in, but it's still better than having no opt at all.
Why was this Threads feature unpopular?
Although the feature was welcomed by people who are big on social media self-promotion, many ordinary users were unhappy because different social networks often have different atmospheres and users. For example, I saw one friend bemoaning the crossposting because their dad follows them on Facebook and they post decidedly dad-unfriendly stuff on Threads.
It's easy to laugh at that kind of thing, but it can be a serious concern for people who might have good reasons to keep their different social media separate. I know lots of people who use Instagram to promote their businesses and Threads to let off steam; I also know LGBTQ+ people who will happily post about their private lives to their small Threads audience but who wouldn't want the same posts broadcast on Facebook.
I think that's a particular concern if, like many people, you've had a Facebook or Instagram account for a long time and added pretty much everyone you've ever known: I know in my own case the people I'm connected to on Facebook are very different to the people I'm connected to on Instagram, who in turn are very different to the people I'm connected to on Threads.
I think this imminent change is a good thing. It means the people who are happy to share everything everywhere can still use the feature, and that those of us who'd rather control what goes where can do that too. I'll be glad to see this one rolling out.