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Search is finally coming to Threads, but you won’t be able to use hashtags

Published Aug 31st, 2023 11:52AM EDT
Search on Threads
Image: Matt Navarra

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We’ve heard it from the head man himself. Search — ACTUAL SEARCH — is finally coming to Threads.

When Instagram launched Threads at the beginning of July, it launched with a Search tab in the app. Like everyone else, I went to that tab at first to find people I was following on Twitter so I could also follow them on Threads. However, once I was finished with that, I tried searching for other things like a topic or, dare I say, a hashtag.

However, when you try searching for anything on Threads that isn’t an account right now, you’re out of luck. The search function is currently only enabled to search for accounts on the platform, making it difficult to search for keyword (like iPhone 15 or Starfield) and jump into conversations happening about those topics. It’s been one of the most requested features from users by far so they can get into more than just what is on their For You and Following feeds.

Thankfully, Threads agrees. Today, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to the platform to announce that search — real search — is finally coming to Threads. The Zuck, in recently expected cryptic fashion, simply said, “Get excited — search is coming to Threads.”

Post by @zuck
View on Threads

While Zuckerberg didn’t give a timeline on when the real search would be rolling out to users, according to social media expert Matt Navarra, testing has already launched today for users in both Australia and New Zealand. Navarra says that the company “plans to expand to other English-speaking countries soon.”

Navarra also posted what looks to be a screenshot of what the search experience will actually be like when it launches. It looks to be a simple keyword search function as opposed to implementing any kind of hashtag experience. In Navarra’s screenshot, searching for the word “tennis” will prompt accounts with that word in their username as well as a new option to “Search for ‘tennis'”. Tapping on that option will bring up posts that contain that keyword.

Post by @mattnavarra
View on Threads

While I’m sure some users may complain that this first form of real search is going to be really basic at first, I’m personally fine with it. I’m actually one of those people who don’t want hashtags on Threads, even after using them religiously on Twitter for years. I’d rather see the company implement a tagging system that allows you to record them for the sake of finding your posts but not by spamming the text of your post — there are more pleasant ways of implementing that.

I’m not saying that tags aren’t useful. They help us narrow down into a topic or community that we are interested in or want to be a part of. However, Twitter’s (and almost everyone else’s) implementation of tagging on social media has caused almost every post you read to be littered with hashtags, making for an experience that feels more like spammy ads than insightful posts.

While the search feature is just getting started by testing with users in two countries, hopefully, it will make its way across the globe soon enough. I’m ready to play some Starfield next week so I’d love the ability to search for the keyword and dig into more posts about the game outside of what is going on in my feed.

While we’re waiting for real search, if you haven’t already, check out Threads on the web which also just launched last week.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.