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Last year, Meta launched another social media app, Threads, which works in many ways similar to X (formerly Twitter). Threads allows users to post and share text, images and videos and interact with other users’ content through replies, reposts and likes.
Previous reports indicated that Threads was developing a trends feature, allowing users to discover posts about the most discussed topics on the platform. While the feature is still awaiting a general release, Threads is now introducing the Trending feature to users in the United States.
CEO of Instagram Adam Mosseri (via 9to5Mac) said that the Trending on Threads feature helps users discover “hot topics people are talking about” Mosseri explained that these trending topics can be found in the Search tab and in the For You feed. He added that the topics are chosen by AI, which analyzes user engagement on the platform.
However, the topics chosen by the AI will be subject to human review, which seems like a wise decision, especially as the elections approach. Mosseri mentioned on his personal profile:
However, this approach seems to contradict Meta’s recent statement. Just a few days ago, Mosseri made it clear that Instagram and Threads were curbing the recommendation of political content to users. He mentioned that Meta’s new position is not “proactively amplify political content from accounts you don’t follow“.
So even if Meta restricts direct recommendation of unfollowed political content, the Trending feature, powered by user engagement, could still elevate political discussions organically, creating a potential contradiction.
Currently, the Trending feature is rolling out to a select group of US-based users. The CEO of Instagram mentioned that the platform aims to “learn from this test and repeat over time” before expanding the functionality to more regions and languages.