After launching an initial test of keyword search in selected regions back in August, Threads is now making its expanded search capacity available to all users in all markets.
As you can see in this example, and as you would expect, keyword search on Threads will show you all of the posts that mention your chosen terms, providing another way to find relevant, topical content in the app.
Search results will also include posts that are hashtagged and topic-tagged with your search term/s, with tags now also being tested with users in Australia.
Instagram chief Adam Mosseri says that the new search tools will support all languages available in the app, while more search enhancements are also coming soon.
The Threads team has been cautious about adding tags, and search, due to the capacity for these elements to amplify spammy tactics, like adding irrelevant tags to posts in order to get your content displayed in a popular topic stream. Threads is looking to take a more mindful approach to how it facilitates such, and what its system incentivizes, which is part of the reason why it’s taken so long for Threads to expand search to all regions.
But after testing it with users in Australia and New Zealand for three months, it now seems confident that it has a handle on how to manage this element. Though there’s no trending topics listing as yet, which is another aspect that Threads has been wary of.
Conceptually, Meta’s looking to apply its learnings from how these elements have changed user behaviors in social apps in the past, in order to avoid the negatives of such. Which is why users who do have access to topic tags can only add one tag to each post, while it’s not specifically enabling straight hashtag use, in that you have to manually enter a tag into the composer to activate it in your post.
This is all part of Meta’s broader vision for Threads, as Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has explained:
“I’ve thought for a long time there should be a billion-person public conversations app that is a bit more positive. I think that if we keep at this for a few more years, then I think we have a good chance of achieving our vision there.”
Other apps which have focused on straight engagement to boost activity have inadvertently ended up amplifying divisive, argumentative content, while also providing easy avenues for people to hijack conversations with junk.
Threads is trying a different way. Which may or may not work in the end, but if you were wondering why Meta’s not just rolling out a raft of features to replicate Twitter, this would be it.
But search is here, and could see more improvements coming soon.
Update to the latest version of the app to check it out.