Threads 101: Meet Social’s New Kid on the Block

By: Hope Richards, Media Director

The industry is buzzing over Threads, and it’s no surprise given the whopping 100 million users registered within the first few days of its launch. However, as with all new shiny things comes many questions. Will people stick with it? Should all brands join the platform? Will it replace Twitter? What will the advertising opportunities and implications be? While only time will tell, we can start by breaking down the current pros and cons of Threads and a few initial predictions. 

How does Threads differ from Twitter?

At a high level, Threads is similar to Twitter – a platform to share short messages that other users can view and engage with. However, there are a few key differences: 

  • Threads’ character limit is 500 opposed to Twitter’s 280. This means you can share longer Threads than you can Tweets. 
  • Unlike Twitter, Threads currently offers no private messaging. 
  • Twitter has a cap on the number of posts users can view daily, Threads does not have any current restrictions.
  • Threads users can see Threads from accounts they follow and those they do not follow, as opposed to Twitter.

What are the pros and cons?

The pros: 

Backed by a social media giant, Threads holds many promising early advantages:

  • The app allows you to effortlessly connect your Instagram content and followers, making Threads a seamless, low-lift experience to experiment with. 
  • It’s predicted that people are less likely to be “vicious” on this platform because identity is tied to the app (given the Instagram link) vs. TikTok or Twitter where users can be more anonymous. 
  • Privacy, especially in the wake of the Twitter concerns, is something Threads is promoting as a big emphasis for the platform.

The cons: 

Early adopters have been quick to point out several big holes in the platform:

  • Currently, you cannot delete your profile without deleting Instagram. This undoubtedly will cause inflated user numbers so we anticipate they will release a workaround to this based on negative reactions. 
  • The feed isn’t chronological making it difficult to follow updates and news in real-time.
  • The platform currently features a mixture of follower content with random non-follower content, resulting in a messy feed. 
  • The platform lacks a unique experience and identity and doesn’t seem to fill a need in the overall social ecosystem. Rather, it appears to be pulling aspects from Twitter, Instagram and Reddit, which leads to the question – “Why do users need another social network to do what the others already do?”

What are the potential advertising opportunities?  

While new features will be rolling out, interestingly, one item that Instagram head Adam said isn’t in the near future is advertising. “Honestly, not the priority right now,” he wrote. “So humbled by everyone signing up, but we gotta make sure this is an app people want to keep using before we worry about making money…”

That being said, advertising will inevitably play a large role in the platform, and here are a few predictions for how that could roll out: 

  • Influencers will undoubtedly play a large role within Threads advertising. Given the automatic following transferred from Instagram, Threads presents a promising opportunity for brands to partner with influencers to create engaging and authentic posts that resonate with their target audience.
  • We anticipate Threads advertising will live under the same current Meta ads manager platform as Facebook and Instagram – making it a seamless way for advertisers to test as part of their current Meta campaigns, while also providing the same brand safety guidelines the platform has worked hard to establish in recent years. 
  • In the current environment of more limited targeting within Meta, there is hope that the integration of Threads will provide more targeting opportunities.

What other considerations should marketers be keeping in mind? 

Overall, there are a lot of unknowns about Threads and its future as it’s still in its infancy. One thing we know for sure is it shouldn’t be ignored. At Media+ we urge brands and agencies to do their research, approach Threads cautiously and keep a few considerations in mind. For example:

  • What is our voice on this platform?
  • Do we need to post new, organic content or is there an opportunity to share our relevant content?
  • What is our posting cadence? 
  • Is it worth the time and effort? What do we want to get out of this platform? 

Our recommendation? Create an account, see what the buzz is all about and go through the above exercise to decide if it makes sense for your brand. 

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