‘ThreadsDeck’ Launches Just in Time for Trump Verdict

Coinciding with the Trump verdict, Instagram’s Threads introduces a new user interface that mimics TweetDeck, earning the nickname “ThreadsDeck.” Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced on Thursday that the column-based format, tested two weeks ago, is now rolling out globally. This new layout allows Threads users to pin columns to their desktop web app’s home screen, providing a more streamlined way to follow real-time news and discussions.

Enhancing Real-Time News Tracking

ThreadsDeck positions Threads as a serious competitor to Twitter’s X by facilitating real-time news and information tracking. This development allows users to navigate around Meta’s decision to limit political content recommendations on Instagram and Threads, announced in February. This choice was seen as counterintuitive for an X competitor during an election year.

Meta’s decision to steer clear of politics stemmed from ongoing controversies. The company has faced criticism from Republicans for alleged censorship and from Democrats for being lenient on misinformation. When Threads launched, House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) quickly questioned Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the app’s content moderation policies. To avoid further political entanglements, Threads decided not to promote political content proactively.

User Demand for Political Content

Despite Meta’s policy, political discussions have continued to thrive on Threads. Events like President Biden’s State of the Union address and the recent Trump verdict have driven political content to trend on the platform. Users have shown a clear preference for engaging with political news, regardless of Meta’s intentions.

New Features and User Experience

ThreadsDeck significantly improves the user experience by making it easier to follow multiple topics and threads in real-time. The previous interface required users to switch between the For You and Following feeds, hindering seamless tracking of ongoing discussions. The new layout allows users to pin feeds side by side, including For You, Following, Liked, Saved, Profile, Activity, or a Search feed for top trends. Users can also create custom columns for specific topics, such as “Trump,” and enable automatic updates for these columns.

This feature is not restricted to subscribers, unlike X Pro, making it more accessible. ThreadsDeck’s design enhances Threads’ functionality, making it more comparable to Twitter/X, even as Meta enforces a ban on amplifying political content.

Navigating Meta’s Content Policies

Meta’s approach to political content has caused confusion among users. Mosseri clarified that their policy focuses on account-level moderation rather than individual posts and emphasized that Threads is not “anti-news.” While Meta aims to avoid amplifying political news, it continues to promote news related to sports, music, fashion, and culture.

Despite Meta’s policies, users have consistently voiced their desire for political content on Threads. Tech journalist Lance Ulanoff noted that a viable real-time social platform cannot avoid being a news platform to some extent. Users have called for the inclusion of political news, with some expressing frustration over Meta’s stance.

The Future of Threads

If Threads manages to rival X as a news platform, it will be due to the flexibility provided by ThreadsDeck, allowing users to curate their content. This user-driven customization will enable Threads to thrive despite Meta’s restrictive policies on political content. ThreadsDeck empowers users to transform the app into a real-time, news-centric platform tailored to their preferences.