If you go to Threads.net to access Meta’s popular Twitter clone, you’ll still find a spinning placeholder galaxy — but that should change in the next few weeks, according to a new tweet from CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
“Search and web coming in the next few weeks,” he tweets, saying he’s “excited about the team’s pace of shipping.”
Meta took a gamble on launching a barebones Twitter alternative at breakneck speed while Twitter continued to crumble, and it may have paid off — my colleague Alex Heath recently wrote that Threads hit 100 million signups faster than any consumer software product in history.
But more than half of those users didn’t stick around, according to Reuters, and while that may be expected for any software product, much less a buzzy unfinished social media app (and Zuck has been outwardly happy about the retention!) it does seem like Meta is trying to kick additional features into gear quickly. It was just last week that Threads rolled out its Following feed, so you no longer need to depend entirely on the company’s algorithms to prioritize tweets from the people you actually want to read.
Of the remaining features, a desktop web version has clearly been high on the list. Threads and Instagram boss Adam Mosseri’s replies page is currently filled with the times he’s assured high-profile users that “we’re working on it!” Personally, I won’t be spending much time on Threads until I can easily do it from my work PC.
And should Threads take off — or continue to take off — a search function that can search the content of tweets (not just individual user profiles) would be hugely useful for journalists like me. I can’t count the number of story leads I’ve found, or stories I’ve helped corroborate, with Twitter search back in the day.