Instagram and TikTok grew tremendously because of the Explore tab and the For You Page (FYP), respectively. In the first version of Instagram Threads (July 2023), the only search option is to search other users. An Instagram Threads user cannot search for topics or hashtags. This is a little shocking as Meta knows the importance of discovery to growth. In the next version of the Instagram Threads app we will likely see some type of topical search or explore tab. Our guess is that Instagram (Meta) is getting as much data as possible from all the Threads to then use the information to create topics.
Like all social media text based apps in the past, search is often difficult to use when it is first released. In fact, searching on Twitter in 2023 is still quite a mess. Now that Meta has seen the proliferation of the For You Page on TikTok and the amount of search for DIY and Self Help topics, it only makes sense that Instagram Threads would have sections or topic areas for Live Sports, Politics, News, Finance, Business, Social Media and many more. Unlike most social media apps, Instagram Threads does not ask users their interests when they first sign up for the app.
Many users that first sign up for Instagram Threads are adding popular media outlets such as the USA Today, NY Times, ESPN and Fox News. After adding these large media conglomerates, users are then finding other accounts to follow that are commenting on Threads. This organic growth is sure to be extremely valuable to Instagram Threads but there still needs to be a search function for topics; especially in real time topics such as the PGA Tour-LIV Golf saga or a press conference that goes haywire. There were all very fun and exciting moments on Twitter back in the day but Twitter is no longer the platform for those types of conversations.