Threads gains trending topics in a move making it more like X

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 a feature called "Trending Now," which will show users the top five trending topics on the platform at a given time. 
  • The addition makes Threads more equivalent to X (formerly Twitter) in terms of functionality. 
  • Meta began testing trending topics on Threads over a month ago, but the feature is now rolling out to all users in the U.S.

Threads, Meta's text-based social media app, is gaining a critical feature that will make the platform more comparable to X (formerly Twitter). Starting March 19, users in the U.S. can view trending topics on Threads in the app. It works much like the trending tab on X, albeit with fewer topics listed. Still, it's likely to end up being a positive addition to Threads. 

The topics will be found in the "Trending Now" section of the app, which can be viewed in the Search tab and the For You page. It's still rudimentary because you can only see five topics in the "Trending Now" list. The app also can't sort trending topics into categories, as X can with categories like sports or entertainment. Still, it's a better way to discover new content on Threads in close to real-time.

In a post on Threads, Mark Zuckerberg described Trending Now as a way to "see what people are talking about on Threads."

Post by @zuck
View on Threads

Meta began testing the Trending Now section of the Threads app over a month ago, starting with a small batch of users in the U.S. At the time, Zuckerberg pledged to "roll it out in more countries and languages once we get it tuned up." Now, the feature is widely available in the U.S., but there's no further word on when it might come to more countries and languages.

The company shipped Threads last year as an extremely basic text-based social media platform. It rushed out the platform in order to capitalize on the defectors from X, who had left following Elon Musk's changes to the social media site. Due to these reasons, Threads debuted without many essential features. Meta has worked on adding these features retroactively over time, such as hashtags and now trending topics. 

Meta could be hoping that adding Trending now to Threads will make it a better source for following and gathering news. Even after Musk's changes to X, it is still the top platform for following breaking news. In part, that is because it can be hard to follow trends on Threads. The addition of trending topics will bring Threads a bit closer to X in that regard. 

You can try out Trending Topics on Threads, which is starting now in the U.S.

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.