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Meta’s Threads gets a highly requested ‘following feed’

<i>Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Shutterstock</i><br/>Meta on Tuesday launched a highly anticipated “following feed” option in its Threads app.
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Shutterstock
Meta on Tuesday launched a highly anticipated “following feed” option in its Threads app.

By Clare Duffy, CNN

New York (CNN) — Meta on Tuesday launched a highly anticipated “following feed” option in its Threads app as part of its latest batch of updates that could help the new social platform further chip away at Twitter’s position in the market.

The option to see a reverse chronological feed of posts from only accounts a user follows had been one of the most requested features since Threads launched earlier this month. On Tuesday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg replied to a post requesting the feature, saying, “Ask and you shall receive.”

The following feed, one of the central features of the Twitter experience, can be accessed on Threads by double tapping on the app’s home button.

Meta has been steadily rolling out updates to Threads as it tries to keep users engaged in the new app. Threads had a hugely successful launch, topping 100 million sign-ups in its first week, but engagement has declined somewhat since then.

Meta rolled out Threads as a barebones app — missing popular features such as direct messages and a robust search function — to take advantage of a weak moment at rival Twitter. Now, Meta executives have acknowledged that they must continue building out the app to keep the momentum going.

“I’m very optimistic about how the Threads community is coming together,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on the platform last week. “Early growth was off the charts, but more importantly 10s of millions of people now come back daily … The focus for the rest of the year is improving the basics and retention.”

Tuesday’s round of updates also includes automatic translation of posts into a users’ default language, the ability for users to see posts they’ve liked in their settings, the option for private users to batch “approve all” follow requests and buttons to filter the activity feed by various types of interactions, according to the company.

The changes followed another batch of updates last week, which included a translation button and the option to subscribe and receive notifications from accounts a user doesn’t follow.

Meta’s ongoing work on Threads comes as the chaos at Twitter continues. Earlier this week, owner Elon Musk began doing away with the platform’s iconic bird branding and replacing it with “X” in hopes of building an “everything” app similar to China’s WeChat.

As Musk rebrands the app, he could face a different threat from Meta: Facebook’s parent company is one of many businesses that already have intellectual property rights to the letter “X.”

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