Meta’s newly-released social app, Threads, has quickly become the most buzz-worthy topic online as marketers and social media experts have begun testing its waters. Hitting 10 million followers in its first few hours and 100 million in five days, Threads is a promising new platform for brands and users alike to connect through text-based posts. The biggest question now is whether or not the new app will maintain its impressive stamina.
Although Threads is still in its early stages, marketers and other industry experts have begun sharing their thoughts and predictions for the new platform. Questions around algorithm changes and verification policies have started to crop up as the Threads dialog gains traction across the internet.
What is Threads?
Simply put, Threads is a text-based platform similar to Twitter that can be accessed through a user’s Instagram profile. Currently a mobile-only experience, the new platform only offers an algorithmic timeline, similar to Twitter and TikTok’s “For You” page. However, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri and the Meta team have shared that a chronological feed exclusively showing content from accounts a user follows can be expected in the future. Users can sign up for Threads through a button on their Instagram account and keep their username, password, and account name. Check out more signup details here.
Meta has also expressed its intention to eventually incorporate Threads into decentralized social networking protocol ActivityPub, a move that would grant Threads users greater independence from Meta and empower them to manage their social presence more freely. This approach to social will likely resonate with creators looking for a flexible way to take their communities with them without being tied to a single platform.
Threads’ seamless integration with Instagram (combining Meta’s AI technology and user base of over 2.35 billion) sets the stage for the new channel to potentially become the next go-to text app for social users. Learn how to get started with Threads in our all-inclusive guide.
Marketers respond to the rapid growth of Threads
It’s not easy to predict the success of a platform; while TikTok took off and now remains one of the most prominent channels in the social world, other apps like BeReal and Clubhouse failed to reach the same level of usership. For marketers and social media professionals, staying up to date on Threads news and features is essential.
The internet’s initial reaction to Threads has been largely positive, with many users suggesting that Meta’s new app may rival Twitter in terms of usage. Digital marketer Edzenebubu Hofe echoes this sentiment, expressing that the app’s unprecedented growth in its early days is enough to establish Threads as a social media marketing platform.
Thread is officially a social platform for social media marketing— Edzenebubu Hofe (@meetedzenebubu) July 6, 2023
30 million users is enough audience for targeting
It could even be considered a major platform after just a day of release
There has never been anything as massive as this
Threads’ smooth connection to Instagram may be what sets the new app apart from its competitors. This may also make the lives of social media managers easier, as their Instagram and Threads strategies are more closely connected. Marketer and CEO of Browned 2 Perfection Agency Junae Brown shares this idea:
Meta might’ve done it again with Threads y’all. It’s early but I’m feeling it. Plus there’s an IG icon at the top of the app that moves you between it and instagram. Seamless.— Beyoncé Of Marketing✨ (@JunaeBrown) July 5, 2023
While Twitter prohibits the promotion of explicit political content for most business accounts, some users associate the platform with political controversy and other polarizing content. Marketer Komal Ahuja suggests that Threads may attract creators who never joined Twitter because of this, contributing to an already impressive user base.
A lot of people I personally knew were interested in the idea of short-form content but never really joined Twitter because of its reputation as political and controversial but they’ve already joined Threads - thanks to its easy integration w IG. More creators in the making?— Komal Ahuja (@Komallahuja) July 6, 2023
According to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the launch of Threads “feels like the beginning of something special,” and he might be right. Threads signup is intertwined with Instagram, giving the new app an immediate advantage.
What to expect from the future of Threads
The Threads buzz is real, but its limited capabilities and connectedness to Instagram have also emerged as a topic of conversation online. Experienced marketers know not to look at any new platform or feature through rose-colored glasses, and important questions have surfaced across Twitter about the initial drawbacks of Threads and the way the app is set up.
Industry expert and accessibility advocate Alexa Heinrich voices the concerns of many users when it comes to the different audiences and types of content that will make up the Threads platform.
I’m hoping that even though Threads will be an Instagram app, it will let you separate the folks you follow on Threads versus the folks you follow on Instagram.— Alexa Heinrich (@HashtagHeyAlexa) July 4, 2023
The visual content I want to see is very different from the text-based content I wan to see, ya know?
Creative director Claire Joines underscores the need for some level of separation between Instagram and Threads. Social teams for brands and other organizations are facing a similar dilemma as they develop a potential Threads strategy that likely looks very different than their approaches to Instagram.
the issue with threads is that instagram and twitter serve very different functions for me. the people i’m talking to are different & the what i talk about is different. so having a separate app for threads while forcing us to link our insta handles is not appealing to me at all— claire (@clairejoines) July 6, 2023
As with any new social channel, Threads will take some getting used to for marketers carving out a brand presence on the app. As social media managers scramble to strategize and plan for the future, @monsters_vincc reminds marketers that trial and error is a necessary part of getting acquainted with a new platform.
Friendly advice for SMMs on Threads, play, learn and interact, and find the best way to integrate it, it won’t happen over night and that’s fine. You got this— Vin. (@Monsters_Vincc) July 6, 2023
The overall consensus among thought leaders, tech experts, marketers, and social media professionals seems to be that Threads presents an exciting way to connect with online communities. However, as social and content strategist Riley Little shares, only time will tell whether or not the individuals and brands that make up Twitter’s valuable user base will become actively involved in Threads.
I think the reality of current social apps is that none of the competitors can offer a competitive option to Twitter - and the engagement is still worthwhile here.— Riley Little (@TheRileyLittle) July 3, 2023
Threads will likely be the most interesting attempt yet but that too will take time to gain meaningful traction.
Upon the release of Threads, Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino posted a Tweet emphasizing the value of the Twitter community.
On Twitter, everyone's voice matters.— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayacc) July 6, 2023
Whether you’re here to watch history unfold, discover REAL-TIME information all over the world, share your opinions, or learn about others -- on Twitter YOU can be real.
YOU built the Twitter community. 🙏👏 And that's irreplaceable. This…
While new platforms may arise to compete with Twitter, Yaccarino says that Twitter’s engaged, historical user base can’t be replicated. The success of Threads lies in the hands of the users, but its integration with Instagram (as well as Meta’s wealth of resources and technology) does position the new app a true contender in the social media landscape. However, the question remains: will this be enough to move the needle in a time where video and images are the most popular types of media to consume?
Connect with Emplifi on Threads for the latest social media news and updates.