Recently, Meta Platforms launched their latest social networking app and took the internet by storm. Threads, Instagram's text-based conversation app, allows users to share text, images and videos, and engage with others through likes, reposts and replies. Dubbed the “Twitter Killer,” Threads boasted a staggering 30 million sign-ups in less than 24 hours, and less than a week later became the fastest-growing social platform in history, surpassing 100 million users and growing.
On July 5th, iOS and Android users amassed to explore Instagram’s new sister app. The app store describes Threads as a place where “communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow.” Although Threads’ home feed is eerily similar to Twitter, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg (does he really need an introduction?) insists his latest platform will be a totally different experience, with a focus on “kindness” and being “friendly”.
"Threading" (or "threaded," past-tense) is a verb that must be in every digital marketer's toolbox in the same way as "tweeting," with the distinction that they belong to separate platforms that ultimately provide similar functions. With that in mind, the platforms behave differently and attract their own audiences. Here are 5 things VI thinks every marketer should know about Threads:
1. Threads vs Twitter
On the surface, Threads seems like a copy-paste of the Twitter platform.
However, there are marked differences. Threads has abolished every social marketer’s biggest pet peeve: the 280-character limit. Threads allows up to 500 characters in a single post, videos up to 5 minutes in length and up to 10 media items in a single post.
In addition to varying posting limits, Meta has placed a strong emphasis on fostering a kinder and friendlier community within Threads. Meta executive Adam Mosseri Threaded about their goals for the new platform, welcoming users everywhere to a “less angry place” that will not amplify political or news-related content. “Politics and hard news are inevitably going to show up on Threads. They have on Instagram as well to some extent, but we're not going to do anything to encourage those verticals,” said Mosseri.
2. 100 Million Users in 5 Days
Yep, you read that right: Threads gained 100 million users in less than a week and was officially named the fastest-growing social networking platform in history. Within a week of launching, 9/10 top retail brands, including Walmart and Kroger, had set up their accounts, along with celebrities like Oprah and Kim Kardashian.
While users in more than 100 countries began Threading, users in the European Union watched in envy. Threads is currently unavailable in the EU due to privacy concerns, and compliance with the EU's Digital Markets Act. While there are no plans to rollout Threads in the EU, the European Commission is expected to provide more details to the public... but not until September.
3. No Instagram? No Threads.
It seems Meta kicked up their linked accounts strategy with this platform. Unlike other platforms where you simply need a valid email address to join, Threads requires all users to first have an Instagram account before they can sign up for Threads. While this can be a roadblock for some users, it comes as a seamless transition for Instagram fans.
Once users create an account, they also can automatically follow accounts they already follow on Instagram that have corresponding Threads accounts.
By requiring both accounts, Meta has seamlessly integrated their revolutionary algorithmic model between the two platforms. Threads employs an algorithmic timeline to curate posts based on what it deems most relevant to each user. In contrast, Twitter offers users the choice between an algorithmic timeline and a reverse chronological timeline, which presents new posts in real time as they are published.
Twitter (now X) owner Elon Musk has spoken out against Threads for this, claiming that the “closed source, algorithm-only system” allows for “manipulation of what information people see.”
4. Paid Ads Still Pending
Currently, Threads does not offer paid ads within the platform. "Our approach will be the same as all our other products: make the product work well first, then see if we can get it on a clear path to 1 billion people, and only then think about monetization at that point," Mark Zuckerberg said.
5. Already Changing
Like Meta’s other platforms, Threads is changing daily. The platform has already received a mass amount of user feedback related to the app and released its first update just 7 days after launching. The update followed Apple’s iOS 17 expansion earlier in the month and included bug fixes and performance improvements, including increasing the media per post to 10.
Another update is already in the works, and Meta has confirmed it will include a new “following feed” feature that allows users to only see content from accounts they follow.
We’re excited to continue learning and exploring the Threads landscape! Be sure to follow us here.
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