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X rival Threads now has hashtags

Instagram’s Threads, one of the leading rivals to X, has rolled out a new hashtag-like feature called “tags” to help label posts.

“The ability to tag a topic on your post is now rolling out globally so you can categorize your posts and make it easier for others to find and join in on the conversation,” Instagram head Adam Mosseri posted on Threads on Thursday.

Tags works similarly to hashtags but there can only be one of them per post, the platform said.

It is also a little different from how hashtags work on social media platforms like X – formerly Twitter – and Facebook.

Users can start a tag by typing the “#” key and then typing out the topic they want for their post.

But unlike hashtags, the “#” key can be followed by a whole phrase – even without spaces – and with special characters, Mr Moserri noted.

Threads was launched in July and soon became a top rival to the Elon Musk-owned X social media platform, raking up a record 10 million sign-ups within hours and gaining 100 million users in just five days.

With several alterations made to X under Mr Musk by its new free speech-absolutist owner such as changes to content moderation rules and the the removal of verified legacy accounts, users soon took to Instagram’s Threads platform to try out Mark Zuckerberg’s offering.

The platform’s strategic rollout at a time when X was facing backlash helped it gain users swiftly, but Threads has since struggled to further increase – and sometimes maintain – traffic.

Since its launch, Threads has also tried to introduce new features, some paralleling those available on X, including a search function, an edit button, as well as a web version for the platform.

Now, Threads has introduced the tags feature to help users categorise their posts and for others to join in on the conversation.

“With tags we’re trying something simple and slightly new. No # marks, support for multiple words, *only one* tag per post, and the tag view *is* the search view,” Mr Mosseri said.

“The hope is this design focuses tags more on communities and less on engagement hacking, and does so while keeping Threads simple and easy to use,” he added.

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