Apps

Instagram Threads update brings iOS 17 support among other small improvements

Comment

Meta will nuke your Instagram account if you delete Threads profile
Image Credits: Lorenzo Di Cola / NurPhoto / Getty Images

After topping 100 million users just five days after its public debut, Instagram’s new Threads app for iOS is out now with its first update, bringing a handful of small changes and tweaks, added features and various bug fixes, including support for the recently released iOS 17 public beta.

The news of the app’s update was shared on Threads itself by Instagram software engineer Cameron Roth. He offered a list of what features and changes the new build brings, which thankfully includes the ability to use the app on iOS 17 without crashing — a critical update.

Other changes are smaller quality-of-life improvements, not major features like the addition of a chronological feed, an edit button, multiple account support or the ability to search posts, among other promised changes Instagram head Adam Mosseri has said were in the works.

Instead, the app update introduces things like the ability to double-tap the search tab to begin a search and expand pics on profiles, plus support for extra tall photos that are fully viewable, a newly polished “facepile pill” (the display of a list of people that appears at the top of the screen when there are new posts to read), among other bug fixes. For instance, Threads now features better scroll dismiss handling on profiles and fixes to random images on the threadline (Threads’ word for the timeline). It has also fixed other, smaller bugs, noted Roth. The binary size of the app has been trimmed, too, he added.

In replies to the post, the engineer commented on other questions from users about features they’d like to see, responding that alt text — an accessibility feature for low vision and blind users that adds text to describe photos — would be coming soon, while the ability to see an indicator as to whether you are following someone in your followers section would be coming next week. He also reiterated Threads’ plans to introduce a following feed, as Mosseri had previously promised, and noted that there were “continuous improvements” being made in other areas of accessibility as well as the app’s main algorithm.

Responding to a complaint about the lack of a desktop version — where Threads could be used via a web browser, for instance — Roth replied that it’s not as simple as “turning it on.”

“It didn’t exist and needs to be built,” he said. So that change seems to be further down the road for the time being.

Threads was launched while still a work-in-progress because Meta wanted to capitalize on the chaos at Twitter, which was sending users once again fleeing from the Elon Musk-owned social network after he implemented limits on the number of viewable tweets, claiming the reduction was necessary due to an increase in data scraping activity. (The scraping had increased because Musk upped the pricing for Twitter’s API, leaving some developers without the ability to properly pay for Twitter’s data.)

As a result, other Twitter alternatives gained traction, including decentralized Twitter rival Mastodon, which saw its monthly active users increase from 1.4 million earlier in June to 1.9 million as of June 11. Mastodon founder and CEO Eugen Rochko had commented on the increase in early July, noting active users rose by 294,000 over the weekend and posting activity had tripled. Yesterday, he boosted a post that noted Mastodon had now hit 2 million monthly active users — a suggestion that the Twitter exodus is continuing.

Like Mastodon, Threads plans to integrate with the decentralized social networking protocol ActivityPub in the future, which would allow users to move their profiles from Threads to other ActivityPub-connected servers and interact with and follow other Mastodon users.

Twitter, meanwhile, has pushed back at reports of traffic declines with new CEO Linda Yaccarino claiming, without metrics, that Twitter had its largest usage day since February last week.

Twitter blocks links to rival Threads, while CEO downplays reports of traffic decline

More TechCrunch

Zen Educate, an online marketplace that connects schools with teachers, has raised $37 million in a Series B round of funding. The raise comes amid a growing teacher shortage crisis…

Zen Educate raises $37M and acquires Aquinas Education as it tries to address the teacher shortage

“When I heard the released demo, I was shocked, angered and in disbelief that Mr. Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine.”

Scarlett Johansson says that OpenAI approached her to use her voice

A new self-driving truck — manufactured by Volvo and loaded with autonomous vehicle tech developed by Aurora Innovation — could be on public highways as early as this summer.  The…

Aurora and Volvo unveil self-driving truck designed for a driverless future

The European venture capital firm raised its fourth fund as fund as climate tech “comes of age.”

ETF Partners raises €284M for climate startups that will be effective quickly — not 20 years down the road

Copilot, Microsoft’s brand of generative AI, will soon be far more deeply integrated into the Windows 11 experience.

Microsoft wants to make Windows an AI operating system, launches Copilot+ PCs

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch Space. For those who haven’t heard, the first crewed launch of Boeing’s Starliner capsule has been pushed back yet again to no earlier than…

TechCrunch Space: Star(side)liner

When I attended Automate in Chicago a few weeks back, multiple people thanked me for TechCrunch’s semi-regular robotics job report. It’s always edifying to get that feedback in person. While…

These 81 robotics companies are hiring

The top vehicle safety regulator in the U.S. has launched a formal probe into an April crash involving the all-electric VinFast VF8 SUV that claimed the lives of a family…

VinFast crash that killed family of four now under federal investigation

When putting a video portal in a public park in the middle of New York City, some inappropriate behavior will likely occur. The Portal, the vision of Lithuanian artist and…

NYC-Dublin real-time video portal reopens with some fixes to prevent inappropriate behavior

Longtime New York-based seed investor, Contour Venture Partners, is making progress on its latest flagship fund after lowering its target. The firm closed on $42 million, raised from 64 backers,…

Contour Venture Partners, an early investor in Datadog and Movable Ink, lowers the target for its fifth fund

Meta’s Oversight Board has now extended its scope to include the company’s newest platform, Instagram Threads, and has begun hearing cases from Threads.

Meta’s Oversight Board takes its first Threads case

The company says it’s refocusing and prioritizing fewer initiatives that will have the biggest impact on customers and add value to the business.

SeekOut, a recruiting startup last valued at $1.2 billion, lays off 30% of its workforce

The U.K.’s self-proclaimed “world-leading” regulations for self-driving cars are now official, after the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act received royal assent — the final rubber stamp any legislation must go through…

UK’s autonomous vehicle legislation becomes law, paving the way for first driverless cars by 2026

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved…

ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about the AI-powered chatbot

SoLo Funds CEO Travis Holoway: “Regulators seem driven by press releases when they should be motivated by true consumer protection and empowering equitable solutions.”

Fintech lender SoLo Funds is being sued again by the government over its lending practices

Hard tech startups generate a lot of buzz, but there’s a growing cohort of companies building digital tools squarely focused on making hard tech development faster, more efficient and —…

Rollup wants to be the hardware engineer’s workhorse

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is not just about groundbreaking innovations, insightful panels, and visionary speakers — it’s also about listening to YOU, the audience, and what you feel is top of…

Disrupt Audience Choice vote closes Friday

Google says the new SDK would help Google expand on its core mission of connecting the right audience to the right content at the right time.

Google is launching a new Android feature to drive users back into their installed apps

Jolla has taken the official wraps off the first version of its personal server-based AI assistant in the making. The reborn startup is building a privacy-focused AI device — aka…

Jolla debuts privacy-focused AI hardware

The ChatGPT mobile app’s net revenue first jumped 22% on the day of the GPT-4o launch and continued to grow in the following days.

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw its biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch

Dating app maker Bumble has acquired Geneva, an online platform built around forming real-world groups and clubs. The company said that the deal is designed to help it expand its…

Bumble buys community building app Geneva to expand further into friendships

CyberArk — one of the army of larger security companies founded out of Israel — is acquiring Venafi, a specialist in machine identity, for $1.54 billion. 

CyberArk snaps up Venafi for $1.54B to ramp up in machine-to-machine security

Founder-market fit is one of the most crucial factors in a startup’s success, and operators (someone involved in the day-to-day operations of a startup) turned founders have an almost unfair advantage…

OpenseedVC, which backs operators in Africa and Europe starting their companies, reaches first close of $10M fund

A Singapore High Court has effectively approved Pine Labs’ request to shift its operations to India.

Pine Labs gets Singapore court approval to shift base to India

The AI Safety Institute, a U.K. body that aims to assess and address risks in AI platforms, has said it will open a second location in San Francisco. 

UK opens office in San Francisco to tackle AI risk

Companies are always looking for an edge, and searching for ways to encourage their employees to innovate. One way to do that is by running an internal hackathon around a…

Why companies are turning to internal hackathons

Featured Article

I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Women in tech still face a shocking level of mistreatment at work. Melinda French Gates is one of the few working to change that.

2 days ago
I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s  broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’