These Seven New Microsoft PowerToys Utilities Are Worth Trying

Are you sick of Twitter/X but struggling to leave it behind? Alternatives like Meta’s Threads seem enticing but are missing many of the standard features we’ve come to know and love. But leave X we must, because, among many other reasons, X is such a stupid name.

Fortunately, Threads is slowly getting better as Meta continues to add new Twitter-like features. The following three features launched this week, as Mark Zuckerberg announced in a thread on Wednesday, but others on this list were added previously, and there will likely be more to follow.

  • Download Threads for Android
  • Download Threads for iPhone

Share posts to Instagram DMs

If you come across a thread you know one of your Instagram friends would love, you can now share it directly to Instagram DMs, just as you might share a tweet to your Twitter DMs. Hit the share button, then hit “Send on Instagram.”

Custom alt text for media

Alt text adds context to any photo or video you upload to your social media feed. You can do it on Twitter, and now you can do it on Threads. Just hit the “Alt” button that shows up on your media, then enter what you want it to say.

A new Mention option

When you want to tag someone in a thread, a new mention option makes it quick and easy to do so. That said, typing “@” followed by the account name always works, too.

View your likes

Yes, this is a new feature! And no, it’s not particularly convenient. To view your likes, head to your profile tab, tap the menu in the top right, then hit “Your likes.” Maybe we’ll see these as their own section in the profile tab in the future, like Twitter.

A following-only feed

Somehow, Threads didn’t launch with a Following feed, meaning the entire app experience mixed together accounts that Threads hoped you’d like. That experience is still there in the “For you” tab, but if you tap the Threads logo at the top of the screen, you’ll reveal the Following tab.

Threads translations

If you see a thread come across your feed in a language you don’t understand, you’ll see a small icon in the bottom-right of the thread you can tap to translate it to your app’s default language. It’s not quite as obvious as Twitter’s translation tool, but it’s here.

Notifications for accounts you don’t follow

Follow counts are a tricky balancing act, especially when there are so many interesting accounts on the platform. If you see an account you want to keep tabs on, but you don’t want to officially follow them, head to their profile and tap the bell.

Follow new accounts more easily

It was always easy to follow new Twitter accounts, and now it’s just as easy on Threads. Tap the (+) attached to the avatar of any account you want to start following.

What’s still missing from Threads

Threads still isn’t perfect, and you may feel something lacking when scrolling on the platform. Namely, a web app (the current site is just a pretty ad for the app), a useful search tool (the current one only shows accounts, not threads), and the ability to tag threads with hashtags. Those first two features seem imminent, as Mark Zuckerberg said both “search and web” will be launching in a few weeks. Perhaps hashtags will come as part of search, but there’s no telling.

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