There’s a new player within the social media marketplace but what exactly is Threads and what will it mean for businesses in the future, keep reading for our thoughts on the matter.
In July 2023, Meta and the Instagram team introduced its new ‘text-based conversation app‘, Threads, which is interestingly very similar to Twitter.
To provide some context, Elon Musk bought Twitter in 2022, and since then the social media marketplace has massively shifted. Twitter started to change drastically and with its reputation in decline, Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta were primed to fill the gap.
After purchasing Twitter, Elon Musk decided to make a few changes. Starting by removing the blue tick from verified users and introducing Twitter Blue, where users can pay to be ‘verified’ and get a new kind of blue tick. This led to some *interesting* situations where users were able to pose as famous public figures and influencers.
Around the same time, Musk also gave the Twitter staff an ultimatum where they were told to comply with a more ‘hardcore’ approach (working longer hours with no remote working etc) or they can choose to leave the company with no severance pay.
These changes caused uproar within the digital space and many users left the platform. According to a report from PLOS, ‘global advertising reach on the platform has dropped by close to a third’ and there has been a general increase in both misinformation and hate-speech since the takeover.
Threads is a new social media platform that has been created by the Instagram team at Meta (aka Facebook). The app allows users to share text updates of up to 500 characters and join in with public conversations. Over 100 million people have already joined the new platform and it’s growing considerably every day.
In the official announcement, the Instagram team states that they are working on making Threads compatible with open interoperable social networks like Mastodon and WordPress to ‘shape the future of the internet’.
In the official announcement, the Instagram team states that they are ‘planning to make Threads compatible with ActivityPub, the open social networking protocol established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)’. They go on to say that this would make Threads interoperable with other apps, helping to create new kinds of connections that aren’t currently possible on most of the social media apps we all use at the moment.
To create a Threads account, there’s just one small requirement – you must have an existing Instagram account.
Before creating your account, we highly recommend double-checking your username, as this will transfer to your Threads account with the rest of your information. If you want to change it, you can easily do so within your Instagram settings.
To create your Threads account, you simply need to go into Instagram, click the three lines in the top right hand corner, select the Threads icon (it looks a bit like an @ symbol) then hit ‘get Threads’.
During the process, all of your current Instagram followers will be transferred over, ensuring that your existing audience follows you to this new platform.
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As with any new developments in the digital space, if you’re not getting involved, you risk being left behind. Threads definitely has the novelty factor right now and users are joining at a rapid rate.
As everything imports over from your Instagram account, we would recommend joining the platform if you have already built an audience there. So far, we have seen that it’s a great space to foster interactive conversations.
However, there are a few teething issues to consider. At the moment, user feeds are completely dictated by the algorithm, meaning it shows users content it thinks they will be most interested in, rather than showing posts in chronological order. This means it’s not worth posting time sensitive information and it may be difficult to stay visible to your specific audience unless they directly seek out your profile.
Right now, there isn’t any functionality to advertise on the Threads platform. There is no way to boost posts or create more complex advertising campaigns like other social media channels.
Although Mark Zuckerberg himself said that they aren’t planning to introduce ‘traditional’ advertising on the platform, we do expect there will be some kind of advertisement option available in the near future, given its rising popularity.
That being said, Axios recently published a report stating that Instagram is planning to bring branded content tools to Threads, in order to ‘give marketers a way to get involved with paid promotion on the app while advertising is still off limits’.
Threads is still very new so it’s difficult to predict what the future holds for the platform. In time and as more functionality is introduced, we should be able to tell whether Threads has the staying power to seriously rival Twitter.
It may be tempting for businesses to jump on the trend but if the platform remains a novelty and fades into the background after a few months, it could be an unnecessary distraction and a waste of resources.
However, as with any social media channel, consistency is key and if your business has a marketing team with the capacity to stay active and provide meaningful content to your audience – we say go for it!
Over the last week or so, over 100 million people have signed up to the platform which has understandably caused a shockwave within the digital space.
Businesses may be enticed to ride the wave and establish a presence on Threads. However, we strongly recommend considering this move only if you have already cultivated a robust audience on Instagram.
If you do choose to join the platform, make sure to put a strategy in place and post light-hearted topics that encourage conversation, this could create a useful (and free) source of insights directly from your audience.
It’s hard to predict what Threads could mean for businesses at this stage but we expect to see more promotional features in the near future and improved functionality, possibly leading to more people joining the platform.
We’re excited to see how the social media marketplace adapts but in the meantime, let us know your thoughts over on Threads or feel free to head over to LinkedIn or Twitter if you’re taking our advice!