Threads is testing real-time search results

Threads is testing real-time search results
By: Engadget Posted On: April 15, 2024 View: 29

Meta’s Threads app is often described as the company’s competitor to X. But Threads users, especially those once active on Twitter, are often quick to point out that Meta’s app is not yet a great source for real-time information. The app’s “for you” algorithm often surfaces days-old posts alongside fresh ones, and its recently introduced trending topics feature only shows five topics at a time. But for those holding out hope that the app may eventually become more useful for real-time information, Meta’s latest test may be good news.

The app is testing a new search feature that will allow users to filter results by recency, according to a screenshot shared by Threads user Daniel Rodriguez. Threads’ top exec, Adam Mosseri, confirmed the change. “We’re starting to test this with a small number of people so it’s easier to find relevant search results in real time,” Mosseri wrote.

That may sound like a relatively minor tweak but the lack of a chronological search has long been frustrating for Threads users looking to find news or commentary about current events. And while sorting by “recent” posts isn’t the same as chronological search, it should help surface posts about breaking news or other timely topics.

Just how useful the feature is, though, will depend on if Meta makes the filter available to all topics on the platform. The screenshot showed a recency option for “NBA Threads,” a community Mosseri has gone out of his way to encourage in the app. But Mosseri has been considerably less enthusiastic about other timely topics, saying last year he didn’t want to encourage “hard news.” Elsewhere, Threads has angered some users by removing political content from recommendations and blocking search results for topics it deems “potentially sensitive,” like vaccines and COVID-19, even if the posts don’t violate its rules.

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