Threads puts its own spin on traditional hashtags to avoid spam

The cover screen for the Instagram Threads social app on a Motorola Edge+ (2023)
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Threads is rolling out topic tags to all users worldwide after testing them in selected markets.
  • Topic tags differ from traditional hashtags by allowing only one tag per post and requiring manual addition in the composer.
  • Tags also support multi-word phrases with spaces and special characters for a more natural look.

Meta's Threads has gained a nifty update with the introduction of tags, but unlike traditional hashtags that often appear cluttered and spammy, the platform took a different approach to make them less annoying.

Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced in a post that Threads is rolling out the ability to tag a topic in your post globally after a trial run in Australia last month. Like hashtags, this feature categorizes your posts by topic and lets other users find them through those tags.

Other social networks like X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, and Facebook have had support for hashtags for a long time now. However, since its launch, Threads hasn't had its own hashtag system, leaving many users feeling left out, until now.

But there's a catch: Threads is putting its own spin on hashtags. When you add a tag, you won't see the usual hash (#) symbol tagging along. Tags will still appear as blue text, making them easy to spot but keeping things clean and organized. And instead of being limited to single words, you can create multi-word tags with spaces and special characters.

To add a topic tag in Threads, just type the # key or pick it from the icon lineup in the compose box. A list of popular hashtags will then show up, and you can choose any that matches your post. Or if you're feeling unique, start typing your own tag.

Threads compose box showing the new tagging feature

(Image credit: Threads)

Tapping a tag will bring you to the search view. This feature makes it easier to explore topics that interest you.

Interestingly, this is similar to the blue comments on TikTok. The popular video music platform is playing around with this internal search feature where the blue text in comments acts like a shortcut to search for words related to the video (via WikiHow). The idea is to hook users up with more content that they're interested in and give content creators a boost in reach.

Another approach that makes Threads' tags unique from the pact is that you're only limited to one tag per post, unlike those chaotic X posts with a dozen tags. Meta's X rival wants to create a more positive and engaging environment, and this means avoiding spam. Plus, it makes it easier to find content you're actually interested in without getting lost in a sea of irrelevant hashtags.

Furthermore, Threads' tags are all about intentional tagging, so you actually have to manually add a tag within the composer. This means no more accidental hashtag spam or irrelevant tags cluttering up your feed.

"The hope is this design focuses tags more on communities and less on engagement hacking," Mosseri said in his post.

Engagement hacking is when people load up a post with a bunch of irrelevant tags just to snag more views. Threads' new one-tag-per-post rule effectively throws a wrench into that game.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.