Meta Strikes Back: Instagram Threads Tests Pinned Columns, Aiming to Rival X Pro

  • Oliver Michael
  • 18 May 2024
Meta Strikes Back: Instagram Threads Tests Pinned Columns, Aiming to Rival X Pro Image

Mark Zuckerberg has revealed that Instagram's Threads is testing pinned columns on the web, a feature highly reminiscent of the old TweetDeck. This move could signal a significant shift in how users engage with Threads, allowing for a more tailored and dynamic interaction with the platform. With X Pro putting similar functionalities behind a paywall, Meta’s initiative might offer a fresh, potentially more accessible option for social media enthusiasts eager to curate their online experience.

The introduction of pinned columns allows users to arrange their Threads interface to better suit their digital habits. Early feedback indicates that pinned columns can include favorite searches, specific accounts, saved posts, and notifications. An added auto-refresh feature ensures users receive the most current updates without manually refreshing the feed, a convenience lost when Twitter overhauled TweetDeck. The feature is currently only available to some users worldwide, indicating a gradual rollout to gather first impressions from users and troubleshoot possible issues.

This development raises intriguing possibilities regarding the future of the Threads API. Meta has yet to discuss whether it will permit third-party developers to create independent Threads clients, but the testing of pinned columns hints at a more flexible and customizable user interface. If Meta opens the API to developers, we could see a proliferation of creative, third-party applications enhancing how we interact with Threads. Such a move could attract a wider audience looking for more versatile social media tools, potentially setting Threads apart in a competitive landscape.

Comparatively, other social networks have experimented with similar layouts. Platforms like Bluesky and Mastodon have inspired third-party developers to create TweetDeck-like experiences, while Mastodon also offers its built-in column-based interface. Conversely, Threads’ foray into this territory, backed by Meta’s vast resources, could quickly elevate it to a principal position among social media management tools. This could spell good news for users, providing a robust alternative in a market where options often come with strings attached, like subscription fees.

Thus, the testing of Instagram Threads with attached columns marks an important date in the evolution of social media interfaces. While still in its infancy, the feature’s potential to offer more personalized and efficient content management is tantalizing. As the tech community waits for more developments and broader availability, this could be a game-changer in how we navigate social networks. What’s clear is that Meta seems determined to reclaim the terrain left vacated by the revered old TweetDeck, and the only direction seems to be forward.


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