Customize Your Threads Feed with Swipes


Threads, Meta’s alternative to Twitter/X and its initial venture into decentralized social media, is now offering enhanced user control features. Following the launch of a customizable dashboard interface last week, Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced on Monday that the app is now introducing a feature allowing users to indicate which kind of posts they want to see more or less of.

Users can “swipe right on a post to like it, or swipe left to show they’re not interested,” Mosseri detailed in a Threads post. “We’ll use those signals to show more posts like the ones swiped right on and fewer like those swiped left on.”

The concept of using swipe gestures to indicate preference echoes dating apps like Tinder. This method of training an algorithm to understand user preferences could help Threads more swiftly personalize users’ For You feeds. TikTok employs a similar approach by allowing users to mark videos as “not interested,” and X uses a similar mechanism for posts.

Different competitors in the space utilize various strategies for content delivery. X employs a more traditional social media algorithm that combines likes and engagement patterns with other metrics to gauge user preferences. Conversely, Bluesky, a startup that originated within Twitter (now X), offers a “choose your own algorithm” model, allowing users to customize their feeds or follow prebuilt ones like “What’s Hot” or “Popular with Friends” to tailor their content experience.

Well-crafted For You feeds can boost engagement and time spent on an app — metrics that Meta aims to enhance with Threads.

Although Meta’s new app has over 150 million monthly active users, Elon Musk claims X now boasts 600 million monthly active users, with 300 million using the platform daily. (It’s worth noting that Musk does not clarify how many of these accounts are automated or spam, and since X no longer reports publicly, these numbers cannot be independently verified.) Nonetheless, Threads has more ground to cover to catch up with X, though it surpasses Bluesky’s 5.7 million users and Mastodon’s 7.2 million, of which fewer than 1 million are active monthly.

Threads began testing the side-swiping gesture to indicate interest in posts in March. Swiping in one direction would reveal a heart icon, while swiping the other way would display an icon featuring an eye with a line through it — a symbol often associated with “hide” or “hidden.”

Though Threads claims it will use swipes to help users personalize their feeds, the data collected by Meta could serve a broader purpose over time. With sufficient data, these swipes could also help determine which posts are popular versus those frequently “downvoted” (swiped left on) by the community, potentially refining the For You algorithm more rapidly.

Sarah Perez
Sarah Perez
Staff writer. Previously, Sarah worked for over three years at ReadWriteWeb, a technology news publication. Before working as a reporter, Perez worked in I.T. across a number of industries, including banking, retail and software.

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