week after unveiling the preliminary version of its web platform, Instagram’s Threads is initiating the deployment of another eagerly anticipated feature: search. This new search capability reflects the simplicity of the web version and, at this stage, only permits users to look up other Threads profiles using their usernames.
This initial release doesn’t come with advanced search filters or options. The introduction of this feature was communicated through a post by CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Threads, where he expressed, “Brace yourselves – search is arriving on Threads.”
Reports suggest that the search page is in the trial phase in Australia and New Zealand. There are intentions to broaden this feature to more English-speaking regions soon.
Over the recent weeks, Threads has swiftly incorporated several highly demanded features. These include a tab to view followers, a section to see likes, a reposts tab, a web version, and a comprehensive text search. This rapid feature addition might respond to the platform witnessing a significant drop in user engagement following its much-hyped launch. The company has been proactively rolling out new features to counter this decline, aiming to rekindle growth.
Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram, mentioned in a Threads post that their objective isn’t to serve as a Twitter substitute. Instead, they aim to establish a communal space on Instagram for those who haven’t fully embraced Twitter and for those on Twitter and other platforms seeking a more cordial conversation space.
One of the strengths that allowed Twitter to maintain its momentum, even with the advent of Threads, was its robust search functionality. This feature enabled users to navigate topics, events, and dialogues effortlessly. At its inception, Threads was primarily designed for interactions within personal groups imported from Instagram. However, the user community soon highlighted the necessity for a search function to engage with a broader audience.
Comparatively, the decentralized social platform Mastodon enhanced its in-app search with advanced filters for media posts and timestamps in the second quarter of this year. As Threads faces the challenge of dwindling active user counts despite its rapid feature rollout, introducing a basic search function might be a step toward resolving engagement concerns.
Threads views the search feature as a potential avenue to boost user interactions on the platform. However, regarding another highly sought-after feature, the Hashtags, there’s still ambiguity about its release timeline for the broader user base.
In reaction to Mark Zuckerberg’s significant announcement, many users have flooded the comments section with requests for a hashtag feature. Yet, it seems Meta might be charting a different course. The company might delay or even forgo the introduction of a hashtag feature, especially now that users can search for specific keywords and terms.