After launching the search feature in Australia and New Zealand, Threads by Meta is expanding it to "most" English and Spanish-speaking countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. This comes as part of Instagram's broader push to increase engagement on its Threads app, which experienced an 82% drop in daily active users since its July launch, according to Sensor Tower.
Originally, the Threads search feature only allowed users to find other Threads users, not the content they posted. The updated search functionality will let users search for keywords and topics, making the platform more versatile and informative.
Despite hitting 100 million users rapidly after its launch, Threads has seen a significant decline in daily active users. Additional features like a fully functional web app and a chronological feed did little to reverse this trend, with web traffic increasing by just 3% globally.
While Threads aims to be a competitor to X, it lacks several features that make X a real-time news hub, such as trends and a more dynamic timeline. X's recent controversies surrounding owner Elon Musk and the Anti-Defamation League could provide Threads an opportunity to regain some market share.
Mark Zuckerberg has indicated that the search feature's rollout will continue, implying further expansion beyond English and Spanish-speaking markets.
Mastodon, another Twitter competitor, also recently updated its search features, allowing users to filter posts using various search operators.
While the expanded search function is a step in the right direction for Threads, it remains to be seen if it will be enough to revitalize the platform and make it a strong contender against X and other social media giants. Given the declining user numbers, Threads will need more than just search features to rekindle interest and activity.