Threads vs X: Will the ‘Edit button’ and ‘Trending Topics’ features attract more users?

Godfrey Elimian
Threads vs X: Will 'Edit button' and 'Trending Topics' level the playing field?
Threads vs X: Will ‘Edit button’ and ‘Trending Topics’ level the playing field?

Hello there, and welcome to another round of the global tech roundup. This week’s roundup features Threads’ burgeoning quest to compete and better Elon Musk’s X, with its consistent roll-out of similar features on the platform.

The meta-owned platform this week announced that it would be rolling out the much-in-demand Trending Topics feature. A Threads user spotted the update in a screenshot posted accidentally by a Threads employee last weekend.

Similarly, Meta’s CEO and co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg announced this week that Instagram Threads is rolling out an edit button within five minutes of posting. Previously, users have had to delete a post and repost it when they want. With the new features, it thus brings the question, is Threads ready to compete with X (formerly Twitter)?

In other news, TikTok now allows users to post directly from popular editing apps, including Adobe’s Premiere Pro, Adobe Express, Twitch, SocialPilot, and ByteDance’s CapCut.

Also, Google said that it is making passkeys a default option for personal Google accounts after positive feedback from users, thereby creating a future in which people will not need a password to securely sign in to accounts.

Netflix Inc. now plans to open new destinations where fans can immerse themselves in the worlds of their favourite TV shows, shop for clothing, eat themed food and maybe even try a Squid Game-themed obstacle course.

We will share details of these news items and more in this week’s global roundup. Here is a summary of the bulletin.

  • Instagram Threads rolls out an Edit button and a Trending Topics feature
  • TikTok now allows users to post directly from popular editing apps
  • Google set to replace passwords with Passkeys
  • Elon Musk removes story links and headlines from users’ post
  • Netflix plans open space launch for users

Read also: Amazon’s Prime Video to roll out $2.99 monthly ad-supported package

Threads by Instagram rolls out new features

In an effort to better compete with X (formerly Twitter), Instagram’s Threads is preparing to launch a much-in-demand feature: Trends. A Threads user spotted the update in a screenshot posted accidentally by a Threads employee over the weekend, which showed a numbered list of trending topics as well as how many “threads” were actively discussing each item.

The image shows top trends like Drake’s new album at No. 1 and other current topics, like Billboard’s Latin Music Week or Disney+’s release of Loki Season 2. Instagram has not yet commented on the reports.

However, unlike on X itself, Threads’ main Trends list does not appear to be accompanied by other trending lists by topic, like News, Sports and Entertainment, or a list of Trends that are personalized “For You.”

Also, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced this week that Threads is rolling out an edit button. With this new feature, you can edit your post as many times as you want within five minutes of posting. Previously, you have had to delete a post and repost it when you want to correct a typo.

Threads vs X: Will 'Edit button' and 'Trending Topics' level the playing field?

Unlike X (formerly Twitter), which only added an edit button last year and then locked it behind a subscription, Threads is rolling out the edit button to users at no extra charge. The edit button is available on mobile and the web and comes around three months after the social network first launched.

However, Threads does not show the edit history of a post, which is something that X offers in order to allow for transparency while also preventing misinformation. In this case, users on Threads can post something, have it garner likes and reposts, and then change the text of the post afterwards without having any sort of record of what it had originally stated.

That said, the addition would be another step toward making Threads more competitive with X as the Instagram-run app aims to capitalize on the continual upheavals and changes on the Elon Musk-owned microblogging network to court users to join Threads instead.

TikTok now allows users to post directly from editing apps

TikTok this week introduced a new feature that will allow its users to post directly to the video platform from a range of popular editing apps, including Adobe’s AI-powered video editing software Premiere Pro, its AI creativity app Adobe Express, as well as others, including Twitch, SocialPilot and ByteDance’s CapCut.

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The new offering, Direct Post, is actually aimed at the developers of third-party apps that want to integrate more closely with TikTok and builds on TikTok’s existing “Share to” integrations which allow third-party apps to publish to TikTok along with their own hashtags.

With Direct Post, however, apps not only have the ability to post video content directly to TikTok’s platform, they can also take advantage of other options, like the ability to set captions, audience settings and more within their own platform, then send information through to TikTok with a single click. In addition, the feature allows long-form video creators to schedule their content to publish to TikTok through social media management platforms.

The addition will make it possible for TikTok to benefit from the advances in the wider creativity app landscape, including those apps that are leveraging AI technology as part of the video editing process. Read more here.

Google set to replace passwords with Passkeys

Google is continuing its move toward creating a future in which people will not need a password to securely sign in to accounts.

The company announced Tuesday in a blog post that it is making passkeys a default option for personal Google accounts after positive feedback from usersPasskeys, which Google started using in May, are a safer and faster alternative to passwords and make it so people do not have to remember numerous passwords, Google said.

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According to Google, Passkeys are more secure because they remove the possibility of your password being stolen, both through hacking and through you accidentally sharing it. The passkeys run on facial recognition, fingerprint scan or a PIN number, making phishing attacks ineffective at swiping passwords.

Even if you lose your device, someone would need your biometric information or PIN number to log in, according to a separate Tuesday blog post outlining passkeys. They use a form of cryptography that is able to confirm that the device has the passkey, and the passkey can only be accessed via the biometric information or PIN number.

“We’ll keep you updated on where else you can start using passkeys across other online accounts,” Google said in the blog. “In the meantime, we’ll continue encouraging the industry to make the pivot to passkeys — making passwords a rarity, and eventually obsolete.”

On Elon Musk’s X, the site formerly known as Twitter, some users reported on Wednesday that they were unable to see news links and headlines on certain posts, a change in the way that media stories appear in their feed.

Several X users noted that posts only displayed graphics of individual news articles, making it confusing to understand. See the screenshot of a news article below:

Earlier this month, Musk confirmed a Fortune report that the company was considering the change, pitching it as a way to “greatly improve the esthetics.” An X spokesperson told CNBC that he’s looking into whether the removal of headlines and links represents a broad rollout.

Linda Yaccarino, who Musk hired as CEO of X in June, reiterated during a conversation with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin at the Code Conference last week that Musk oversees the company’s product and feature development while she handles business and operational matters.

Netflix plans open space launch for users

Netflix Inc. plans to open new destinations where fans can immerse themselves in the worlds of their favourite TV shows, shop for clothing, eat themed food and maybe even try a Squid Game obstacle course.

Guests entering the new Netflix pop-up restaurant, “Netflix Bites,” in Hollywood, California in July.Photographer: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Dubbed Netflix House, the venues will feature a mix of retail, dining and live experiences, according to Josh Simon, the company’s vice president of consumer products. The streaming TV pioneer plans to open the first two in the US in 2025 and then expand the concept around the world.

Netflix has been experimenting with pop-up fan experiences for a few yearstravelled and has introduced 40 in 20 cities around the world. They include The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience, a night of drinks and dancing inspired by the period drama that has traveled to several cities, as well as a pop-up Netflix store at the Grove shopping mall in Los Angeles.

Netflix House will be the company’s first permanent locations, a sign of its growing investment in marketing its programs and in building communities of fans around them.

For years, media companies have used theme-park rides, costumes, toys and other consumer products to promote their characters and generate additional cash. This business is new to Netflix, whose marketing efforts have sometimes been criticized as inadequate by film and TV producers. Management views Netflix House more as a way to promote its titles than as a meaningful source of revenue, at least for now.


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