Meta Tests TweetDeck Style Layout for Threads on Web

This could be interesting.

Today, Meta has unveiled a new Tweetdeck-style UI for Threads on desktop, which enables users to create columns dedicated to topics of interest, and have real-time feeds of each displayed on screen.

Threads on web test

As you can see in this example, posted by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the new layout will enable you to create live-streams of Threads posts on your chosen topics, so that you can stay across the various conversations in the app as they happen.

As per Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, the new layout will enable you to pin separate columns for your favorite searches, tags, accounts, saved posts, and notifications.

So it’s very similar to TweetDeck, which is now called “X Pro” and is only available to paying subscribers.

And it could be an important update, because as a Twitter-like tool, a key strength of Threads is real time discussion, and enabling users to keep up to date with topics of interest. Thus far, however, the Threads team has been somewhat resistant to real-time feeds, due to concerns that they could end up filled with spammers, while also facilitating the spread of misinformation and angst.

Meta’s driving ambition for Threads is to create a more positive real-time social experience, and as such, it’s moving away from news and politics, while it’s also limited how many hashtags you can add to a post.

It’s also been reluctant to add chronological sorting options, due to fears that these real-time feeds could get infected with negative junk, polluting the Threads experience. But it is coming around, with Threads also adding a “Recent” sorting option in search results earlier this week.

Which is not an entirely direct feed of real-time results as they happen, with the Threads team noting that the listing is still “evaluated for quality”. But it is getting closer to a live-stream of content, on any chosen topic, which will help to bring Threads another step closer to being a Twitter replacement.

Which, in essence, is what most users seem to want.

Again, Meta itself has been somewhat hesitant to replicate Twitter exactly, and risk making the same missteps that it’s identified in Twitter’s approach. But as more people shift away from Elon Musk’s X project, most are looking for a replacement.

And Threads, increasingly, is shaping up as the best alternative.

Various other Twitter competitors have shut down in recent months, after failing to gain significant traction, but Threads has been gaining momentum, and is now up to 150 million monthly active users.  

That’s still a far cry from the 500 million MAU on X, and there are indications that Threads adoption has slowed over time. But with more Twitter-like options, and tools that enable broader use of Threads for conversations, you can see how the app could still become a major challenger for the incumbent.

But it does need real-time discovery, and to facilitate topical engagement. This update is another step in that direction.

Meta’s currently testing this new desktop layout with selected users.