How to use features in Thread that you may not know about

Threads is tearing Twitter apart and taking over as one of the fastest social apps to gain popularity. Since it’s so new, there are a lot of features that might not be so obvious. Here are just a few we found during the initial rollout, including muting people and quickly following other Threads users.

If you’re not familiar with Threads, that means you’re not one of the 100 million people who will be joining in just a few days. That figure was released by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg just a couple of days ago, so the real number is likely to be much higher at the time of writing.

The social app is a hybrid between Instagram and Twitter, as it was developed by Meta, the owner of Instagram. Since its launch, it has taken on the social persona of Instagram with the format people like on Twitter. Go figure, “thread” just refers to the format that most content comes in.

Contrary to its uncanny resemblance to the increasingly unstable social giant, Threads has some features that haven’t been so publicly touted.

Follow fast

One of the biggest “duh, why didn’t this exist before?!” Features in Threads is the Quick Follow feature. Instead of diving into someone’s profile and hitting the follow button, you can just tap the plus icon next to their username and confirm that you want to follow them.

thread how to quickly follow

We found this very useful when first setting up the new app. Since the app connects to Instagram, there are a ton of helpful follow-up tips at your fingertips. Tapping the little plus icon next to everyone I already know means I can go on a spree.

New thread shortcut

Each post is called a “thread”, unsurprisingly. Users can string multiple posts together to create a long-form post that always links back to the original content. In normal use, you can create a draft of a post and tap “Add to discussion” to tag a sub-post on it. This creates your long-lived thread before it’s even posted.

threads as a new thread

Instead of hitting “Add to Thread”, Threads has included a nice trick. Just draft your first post and then hit enter on your keyboard three times. That third tap will trigger a new thread and move the cursor to a clean slate that is automatically linked to the previous post.

This can be done over and over again to make one huge thread. While it’s almost as easy to tap into the new mailbox to create a new tagged thread, the trigger has a place in muscle memory and is useful.

Silent profiles

My experience with Threads initially consisted of a home page that was pulled straight from the Instagram algorithm, filled with content I couldn’t care less about. The more people you follow in Threads, the more your home screen is filled with content you’re more likely to like, but it takes some training.

discussions about how to mute the sound

If you come across accounts you don’t want to hear from, you have the option to “deactivate” that Threads user. The feature is pretty common across all social platforms, but that doesn’t make it any less useful. All you have to do is press the three dot menu on a Threads account post that you want to mute. When it appears, press the Mute option.

Muting someone in Thread hides their posts from you and lets you browse without seeing their content. The account you deactivate will not know that you deactivated them.

Hidden words

Another useful content blocker is the hidden words feature. Entering the Confidentiality page from your profile, you can find and tap Hidden words.

This section allows you to hide both offensive replies and replies that contain specified words or phrases. At the bottom of that page, you can enter certain words or phrases that you don’t want to see.

This feature doesn’t seem to hide posts you haven’t engaged with, just like Twitter’s hidden feature. That feature has been useful for hiding spoiler posts or muting certain topics, although it has a different application here.

Threads is still brand new, so there will be more features to come as the app progresses. There is already a beta version of Android open to the public. It should host some features before they are fully released. With over 100 million accounts in just days, there’s no reason the app should stop at the tools to make using the app a better experience.

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