19 Sep

Threads: What brands should know about Meta’s answer to Twitter

If you or anyone you know is a fan of social media, you’ll have no doubt heard about Meta’s new social media platform, Threads.

What is Threads?

At the beginning of July 2023, Threads was launched, a new social media platform launched by Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, Meta. After confirming plans for the app just three months prior to its launch, Threads is seen as the biggest competitor to Elon Musk’s, Twitter, or should we say ‘X’. In fact, so much so, that X resorted to blocking links to the Threads site.*

Threads functions in a very similar way to Twitter / X. Here’s a summary…

  • A post is called a Thread, which appears much like a tweet.
  • Users have the ability to like, repost or share Threads to another platform.
  • Where Instagram has primarily become a visually-led platform favouring video and image sharing, Threads is designed to generate conversations and discussions and is not as heavily focused on media.

Your Threads account is directly linked to your Instagram, meaning anyone can switch to and from both profiles. You also have the option to import who you follow over to the new app, meaning that when you sign up for Threads, you may notice some familiar faces.

*You can read more about the dispute, including a proposed cage fight (yes, you read that correctly) between Musk and Zuckerberg here.

Should my brand be on Threads?

Now that you know a bit more about the new social media network, you might have follow-up questions; “Should my brand use Threads too? Am I missing out? Should I be concerned if my competitors have adopted this social media channel?”

We’ve seen a number of accounts, such as Channel 4, experimenting with Threads and benefitting from the platform. It comes as no surprise that the most successful accounts are consumer-focused brands due to the ability to capitalise on Threads’ conversational nature, as opposed to business-to-business (B2B).

At DS.Emotion we’re passionate about researching, reviewing and embracing new platforms and technologies. As with any social media network, there are arguments for and against creating a brand account on Threads, which we’ll share, so you can make an informed decision for yourself.

Why you should wait before making a Threads account

As a brand, it’s often tempting to hop onto the latest social media trend, constantly seeking that game-changing viral moment. But before you dive into Threads, let’s take a moment to reflect.

Spreading your online presence too thin

Threads made quite a splash, boasting 100 million sign-ups in a remarkably short timeframe. While that figure may seem enticing, let’s put it into perspective. When compared to the 350 million users on Twitter and a staggering 2 billion active users on Facebook, Threads’ user base appears rather modest. According to TechCrunch, mobile intelligence firm Sensor Tower reported in August that daily active users had dropped 82% since launch, meaning just 8 million users are now accessing the app daily.

In light of this recent data, it’s essential to evaluate your brand’s resources and whether committing to another social platform is viable. Building a strong presence on any social network requires a substantial investment of time and creativity. Instead of spreading your resources thin, we recommend avoiding Threads solely for trend-following or replicating your Instagram strategy. Instead, consider a strategic approach with a tailored plan if it aligns with your brand’s goals and target audience.

Threads missing features

If you’ve already jumped ship from the blue bird app over to Threads, you’ll notice that Threads is still in development with several promotional features missing:

  • Hashtags
  • Direct messages
  • Embed links
  • Chronological feed
  • Trending topics
  • Followers-only feed
  • Content search capabilities

Business limitations

At the moment, Threads App is just that – an app. Normally, businesses and agencies, such as ourselves who represent brands, schedule their content in advance (often timing it just right), measure their performance and manage multiple accounts at once.

With Threads, none of this is available yet. It’s early days for the app so there are no third-party scheduling tools available just yet, limited ways to measure performance and there’s no easy account switching if you manage multiple accounts.

Much like hashtags, DMs, etc., Instagram has acknowledged that there are more features to come in the future.

Reasons why you should use Threads

On the flip side, there are several compelling reasons to consider signing up for Threads, even as the user base has evolved since the platform went live, as we’ll discuss below.

Cutting through the evolving landscape

The Twitter competitor initially made waves with an impressive 100 million users in just five days. However, it’s essential to acknowledge the platform’s evolution. While this might raise questions about its vitality, it presents an interesting dynamic. With daily users now standing at 8 million, Threads is a different space from its early days.

This shift can be seen in both a positive and a less crowded light. The content landscape here has changed; it’s still fresh, though not as bustling as before. This means your content still has the opportunity to shine without getting lost in a deluge of threads.

As high-profile accounts adapt to the changing user base, you’ll find that Threads posts now have fewer engagements than their Instagram counterparts. This is because not everyone has made the transition to Threads, offering a chance to stand out before the platform reaches peak saturation, if that ever happens.

A fresh start mentality persists

Despite the evolving user base, many users still view Threads as a fresh start. This is why a significant number of them joined the platform so quickly. Users and brands continue to seek growth and exposure before it potentially becomes more challenging to achieve, reminiscent of the early days of Instagram and Facebook.

Direct link to Instagram

Your Threads account is linked to your Instagram. This allows seamless sharing to your Instagram page or your Instagram story and directs people to your Threads page. It also helps encourage your Instagram followers to follow you on Threads.

Moderated content & controlled content

Unlike Twitter, Threads does not allow explicit content and has a strict content moderation policy. This is great for brands – it means you won’t appear in the same feed as any controversial content and helps uphold your business’s brand reputation. This also means your brand will need to make sure it sticks to the guidelines too.

The choice is yours

We understand that each brand is unique, so without taking a deeper look at your current strategy, it’s challenging to offer a confident recommendation on whether Threads is the best choice for you. However, we do have social media specialists available to talk to should you require them.

At DS.Emotion, we’re constantly on the lookout for new trends and emerging technologies. We’re currently looking at what Threads means for our own clients, whether it’s here to stay, and how we strategise the use of this app alongside other marketing and promotional channels.

Let us know what you think. Are people maxed out on social media? Is Threads one app too many for people to start using? Do you think people will make the jump from X to Threads after recent dramatic changes by Elon Musk?

Curious about how to make social media work for your business? Get in touch with DS.Emotion today and see how our social media specialists can help you cut through the noise.