Instagram’s Threads app is shaking things up in the world of social media with its latest feature: hashtags. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, announced that Threads will begin testing the ability to tag topics on the app, allowing users to categorize their posts by interest or theme. While the tags will be called up using the “#” symbol, they won’t actually be displayed with the symbol when shown. Instead, the tags will appear as clickable blue links.
Testing in Australia and Beyond
The testing of the new tags feature will start in Australia, with the Threads team planning to iterate on the experience based on user feedback. Zuckerberg hinted that more countries will have the opportunity to test tags “soon.” To use the tags, users can tap a new “#” button in the Threads app or type the symbol followed by text using their keyboard. Autocomplete suggestions will appear as users type, making it easier to choose relevant tags or create new ones.
Enhancing Post Discoverability
Once a tag is selected and a post is published, anyone can click on the tag to see other related posts on the same topic. This functionality mirrors the way Twitter’s hashtags work, but with a more elegant twist—Threads drops the “#” symbol as the prefix. However, unlike some other platforms, Threads will only allow one tag per post. This decision was likely made to combat spam and discourage attention-seeking behavior.
Limitations and Future Considerations
While the single tag limitation may be a hindrance in certain cases, it aims to keep the platform free from spam. However, some users may find it restrictive when searching for posts about topics without a defined hashtag or when multiple hashtags are used to discuss a single topic.
There has been ongoing debate about the relevance of hashtags in the future of social networking, with some considering them relics of the past. Nevertheless, Meta has the opportunity to redefine social conventions with Threads and experiment with how they can evolve to meet the needs of modern web users.