One of the most requested features for Meta’s Twitter clone Threads is now rolling out, with users getting access to an edit option, which will enable you to edit your post for up to five minutes after publishing.
As you can see in this example, the new “Edit” option is accessible via the three dot “More” menu at the top right of your Thread. You’ll see a timer counting down your five minutes to update your post, which will help to account for mistakes and errors that you notice after uploading.
Why a time limit?
As with Twitter, there’s long been a resistance to providing full editing capacity to short-form posts, due to the way that their meaning can be drastically altered by even minor changes. The main concern is that people could update viral posts behind time, which have been re-posted and amplified by others, to something completely different, giving the impression that those users are endorsing something that they’re not.
That was the main concern among former Twitter management, though the Threads team hasn’t officially shared an explanation. X Premium subscribers currently have an hour to update their posts.
After a thread has been edited, you’ll see a new edited icon up beside the timestamp.
Tap on that and you’ll get a basic “This post has been edited” pop-up message, but no history or access to previous versions.
It’s a functional way to update your posts, though some will no doubt be less than happy with the 5-minute window. Still, it’s free, unlike X’s edit option, and it will help to catch those clumsy keystroke errors in your posts.
On another front, Threads is also rolling out audio messages, which it’s calling “Voice Threads”.
As you can see in this example, Voice Threads will appear as a soundwave looking attachment within a Thread. Tap on the play button and you’ll be able to hear the audio snippet left by that user.
Which is an important addition for various regions where many languages are spoken, but not all citizens are as fluent in written forms. Providing a means to communicate via voice reduces this potential barrier, which could see Threads gain more momentum in these communities.
The Threads dev team have been working on Voice Threads over the past few months, along with other coming additions, like in-stream GIFs and polls.
Those aren’t here as yet, but the arrival of editing and voice clips suggests that they too are likely close, as well as Trending Topics.
Which are all steadily bringing Threads into greater parity with X, just as more users seek an alternative to the Elon Musk owned app. We don’t have any official data as yet, but anecdotally, the latest conflict in Israel has pushed more users away from X, due to a rise in misinformation, and concerning content within the app.
Journalists, in particular, are steadily looking to shift their focus onto Threads, as Elon continues to make changes that are designed to encourage posting direct to the app, and discourage links to outside sources.
Which, for most journalists, is not an option, while Musk’s personal stances have also continued to push some users away, which has seen Threads regain some of its early momentum.
With this in mind, providing more functionality can only be a good thing, and it does seem like Threads may still have an opportunity to rival X, even if only among selected audiences.
Really, as I’ve noted previously, Elon’s repeated criticisms of “mainstream media” look set to hurt him, given that journalists have traditionally been among the most active and engaged Twitter/X users over time. The more Elon attacks this group, the more they actively seek out an alternative, and with only 20% of X’s users actively posting to the app, the impact of losing journalists will actually be a lot more significant than Elon seems to believe.
We’ll soon find out, as Threads continues to add more helpful functionality.