Threads, the popular social network, mistakenly unveiled a new feature allowing users to view the latest search results. Several iOS app users reported the appearance of an option labeled “Latest” to sort search outcomes on the platform. However, the company quickly clarified that this feature was an internal prototype and had been unintentionally released.
In November, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, which owns Threads, had explained the absence of a search option for the latest results due to concerns over potential misuse and spam. Mosseri stated that displaying search results in chronological order would open up a “safety loophole” that could be exploited by spammers and malicious actors. He emphasized the challenge of moderating the vast amount of content generated and the need to strike a balance between user preferences and content quality.
To clarify, having a comprehensive list of *every* post with a specific word in chronological order inevitably means spammers and other bad actors pummel the view with content by simply adding the relevant words or tags,” Mosseri said at that time. “And before you ask why we don’t take down that bad content, understand there’s a lot more content that people don’t want to see than we can or should take down.”
Threads initially began testing the ability to search for posts in Australia and New Zealand in August 2023. Following successful trials, Meta (formerly known as Facebook) gradually expanded the search feature to encompass almost all English- and Spanish-speaking countries where the social network was available. In December, Threads introduced search capabilities for all languages, coinciding with its launch in the European Union.
While the accidental release of the “Latest” search feature surprised users, it indicates that Threads is actively exploring ways to enhance the platform’s search functionality. However, the company has made it clear that the feature is not being externally tested at present. Users will have to wait for an official release to experience the benefits of browsing the latest search results on Threads.