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Threads Adds Polls and GIFs as it Continues to Expand its Engagement Options

Threads continues to roll out more updates, this time with the addition of GIFs and polls in-stream.

As announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Threads users are now able to add GIFs, providing another way to enhance your Threads posts.

Threads GIFs

As you can see in this sequence, users will now see a new GIF icon in their Threads composer options. Tap on that and you’ll be able to search GIPHY (the GIF platform that Meta once briefly owned) for a relevant animated image to convey your message.

Polls, meanwhile, provide another way to engage your Threads audience.

Threads polls

Tap on the line chart icon and you’ll be able to create a poll in-stream, with up to four response options for viewers to vote on.  

Threads polls also include a timer, which counts down to the poll’s closure in real-time, which could help to drive more engagement. Poll voters will also be sent a notification at the conclusion of the poll, so that they can check back on the final results.

The new additions bring Threads a step closer to parity with X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, as it works to capitalize on the opportunity of users migrating from the Elon Musk-owned platform.

Indeed, just yesterday, Zuckerberg also shared that Threads is now up to 100 million monthly active users, less than four months after launch. At the same time, new reports suggest that X’s userbase is crashing, following Elon’s decision to rename the app, among other changes that are evidently pushing more users away.

Which expands Threads’ window of opportunity, which some had proclaimed had already shut after usage declined from its much-hyped launch.

But 100 million users, in four months, is significant, and it could see Threads become a serious threat to X’s real-time social empire, if the app is able to stay the course.

Which it likely can, as Meta also remains in a strong financial position, while it also has strong incentive, with the capacity to take in more ad dollars via the new platform, if it can make it work.

But to do that, Threads still has a way to go in boosting its appeal, by adding in new features and tools to enhance discussion in the app.

Like polls and GIFs, while Threads is also experimenting with more ways to cross-promote Threads via integration with Instagram.

Threads to Stories

As you can see in this screenshot, posted by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, Threads may soon make it easier for users to cross-post Threads to Instagram Stories, providing another, simple lure to get users across to the app.

Meta’s also highlighting Threads posts to Facebook and Instagram users (which not all Threads users are happy with), utilizing its massive network to promote the new platform to billions more people.

With more functional updates, and a growing array of influential users, if nothing else, Threads is putting more pressure on Musk and Co. to limit their unpopular decisions, with each one seemingly pushing another cohort of X users to the app.

Zuckerberg’s view is that Threads can reach a billion users, via a different approach to real-time updates. It’s got a way to go, but it does seem like Threads is steadily establishing a niche.

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