Threads Introduces Topic Tags Worldwide to Foster Targeted Conversations2 min read

In a recent global expansion, Threads, Instagram’s discussion-oriented app, is unveiling Topic Tags for all users, enhancing the platform’s capability for discovering pertinent discussions. According to Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri, Threads’ Topic Tags, akin to hashtags but with a nuanced approach, aim to steer conversations and stimulate topical engagement. The platform’s cautious rollout strategy reflects a commitment to cultivating a positive environment, differentiating Topic Tags from conventional hashtags in several key aspects.

Reportedly, the Key Differentiators of Threads Topic Tags:

  1. Limited Tag Usage: Users can include only one tag per post, preventing the indiscriminate use of numerous trending hashtags and ensuring meaningful tagging.
  2. Manual Tag Addition: Tags must be manually added within the post composer, eliminating the ability to copy and paste identical posts with active tags.
  3. Flexible Tag Format: Users can create topic tags with multiple words and spaces, offering a more natural integration into posts without the need for the traditional ‘#’ symbol.

Once a tag is added, posts become easily discoverable based on the specified subject. However, it’s important to note that all mentions of the same keywords will appear in the same search stream, whether or not they’ve been tagged by the post creator. Mosseri highlights the need for caution, citing the challenge of spammers exploiting comprehensive lists of posts with specific words or tags in chronological order. This concern parallels issues observed on platforms like Twitter, where spammers exploit trending hashtags to gain visibility in popular streams.

To address potential misuse, Threads is restricting users to one topic tag per post during this initial stage. This measure aims to curtail the risk of spam, preventing the inundation of key conversation surfaces with irrelevant content. In essence, Threads’ Topic Tags represent a departure from traditional hashtags, offering a refined approach to driving topical engagement. While this approach may differ from conventional methods, it aligns with Threads’ overarching goal of constructing a positive, real-time discussion network.

While Threads may currently fall short of Twitter’s value in delivering real-time news updates, the introduction of Topic Tags marks a positive stride. The Threads team’s ongoing development and lessons learned from the expanded rollout will likely contribute to refining the platform’s capabilities, inching closer to becoming a comprehensive replacement for real-time social experiences.

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