While it’s highly unlikely that we’ll witness a cage fighting match between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, Zuckerberg has certainly made a bold move by throwing his new app, Threads, into the ring.
Within just 48 hours of its launch, Threads has more than 70 million sign-ups, attracting influencers, journalists, celebrities, and regular social media users. Considering the massive user base of 2 billion on Instagram, there is ample opportunity for the app to grow.
However, will Threads ultimately surpass Twitter? And how can advertisers leverage its potential?
What is Meta’s Threads App?
Threads, a fresh microblogging platform, is the latest creation from Meta, the colossal corporation that holds ownership of WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. Developed by the Instagram team, this app serves as a platform for sharing text updates and public information.
While certain sources label the platform as a “cleaner, friendlier Twitter,” others refer to it as “Facebook Threads” or “Instagram Threads.” However, in reality, it is an entirely new app.
Threads serves as Meta’s response to the emerging demand for alternatives to Twitter, filling the gap in the market. Quietly launched on July 5th, Threads sent out an Instagram notification to users to announce its availability.
Centered around text-based content with a character limit of 500, Threads offers seamless integration with Instagram. This allows users to share their threads directly to their Instagram stories. Additionally, users have the ability to upload images and videos. Accounts on Threads can be either public or private, and if you possess Instagram verification, it will carry over to Threads as well.
“Threads brings a less-polished, real-time aspect to Meta’s offering. While Instagram is a nicely curated and relatively aspirational look at businesses and influencers, hopefully Threads gives everyone an opportunity to engage in an authentic manner, similar to what one may find on Twitter or Reddit.”
– Natasha Blumenkron, Vice President of Paid Social at Tinuiti
How to Sign Up for Threads
You can use Threads with your existing Instagram account, using the same username, password, and account name. It allows you to bring in the accounts you already follow on Instagram, so you’ll have a familiar network from the start. When your followers join Threads, they will also be prompted to follow you there too. As of launch, Threads is currently not available in the EU.
How Does Threads Compare to Other Twitter Alternatives?
How does Threads compare to other Twitter alternatives like Bluesky and Mastodon?
Mastodon can be confusing for many users, and Bluesky has a long waitlist or requires an invitation to join. In contrast, Threads focuses more on creators and influencers compared to Twitter.
However, Threads has some limitations:
1. It doesn’t have direct messaging (DMs) yet, which can be problematic for brands trying to engage with customers.
2. There is no desktop app available for Threads.
3. Hashtags and a search function for finding specific text or phrases in threads are also missing.
Despite these initial drawbacks, Threads has shown promising initial performance.
“What makes Threads compelling is the seeming ease of use, unlike Mastodon with its technical hurdles. For example, people can post to their existing followers and don’t need to start building followers from scratch. With the growth of Instagram Reels and Stories, Threads adds to the arsenal of ways accounts can reach their followers.”
– Kolin Kleveno, SVP, Addressable Media at Tinuiti
How Advertisers Should Use Threads
“There aren’t any monetization opportunities with Threads yet, but I imagine there would be some overlap with existing Instagram targeting capabilities,” Kleveno said.
“I’m sure contextual targeting will be at the forefront of the ads opportunities when they’re released. What will be interesting to see if Threads carries over the shopping capabilities (e.g Checkout) being built out on Instagram.”
For now, brands can create accounts on Threads and focus on growing their organic presence. Here are a few quick tips to help you get started:
- Post a thread and don’t hesitate to tag others (@) to establish connections and increase your visibility early on. Threads currently displays posts from all users, not just those you follow, providing an opportunity to attract new customers.
- Familiarize yourself with the algorithm on Threads. The feed is not arranged chronologically and may follow a similar approach as Instagram or Facebook’s algorithm. Experiment with different strategies to understand what works best.
- Consider how you will monitor content on the platform.
Here at Tinuiti, we highly recommend brands to give Threads a try.
“We’re encouraging brands to test the platform out as there is always value to being first to market. This is a great time to tap into an uncrowded space and connect with users in a unique and what seems like it will be an authentic manner,” Blumenkron said.
“I would also recommend keeping a pulse on what other brands are doing and how consumers are responding and interacting. Ideally, this is the learning and vetting phase to identify if this platform is a good fit before investing too much time.”