Mark Zuckerberg's Meta have launched their competitor to Twitter in the form of trending new platform 'Threads', which is linked to Instagram.
What is threads?
Overnight, Instagram, or rather Meta, launched their 'Twitter Killer' (which aptly gives a whole Bond-villain kind of feel to things) in the form of the long-rumoured Threads app.
Threads is an Instagram companion, meaning you utilise your existing photo-sharing account in the creation of a Threads profile. It does everything that Twitter can do generally, apart from missing a few basics:
- A proper search functionality
- Private Messaging
- A 'following' feed
According to various news outlets, there have been over 10,000,000 sign-ups already, which is certainly attributed to the ease-of-access (and in-app marketing) with the linked accounts. Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri is keen to ensure that users are able to "find enough value in the app to keep using it over time" once the hype dies down.
Why has threads been launched?
A basic response is that Twitter is in turmoil since the the Elon Musk takeover. Many businesses pulled their ads from the platform, and various changes surrounding the verification process (and the Twitter Blue subscription), tweet viewing limits and a swathe of poor bots, ads and more flooding the app have made many users jump ship.
Various platforms were launched as a potential replacement, like Mastodon. Product changes at Twitter allowed Zuckerberg, Mosseri and Meta to spot a gap in the social platform market and jump on it.
One of these gaps is how the platform operates with other platforms - which will appeal to creators and influencers, and especially those with a large following. There are a number of useful platforms that Threads may be able to link with that could change the social media landscape.
How will threads impact marketing?
The new kid on the block is bound to make waves across the Digital Marketing landscape - in the future at least. We've asked some of our Digital Marketing experts about how the arrival of Threads will impact different marketing specialisms:
THREADS AND DIGITAL MARKETING
This isn’t the first time Twitter has gone head-to-head with a similar platform but, as part of Meta, Threads is the first real contender to unseat Twitter from their micro-blogging throne! Brand and social media managers need to act like Threads is here to stay and go beyond just reserving their username (something the integration with Instagram makes seamless).
As with any new development, it’ll be a real test and learn process for brands to assess the value Threads can bring to their strategy. There’ll be no one-size fits all approach, and it’ll be interesting to see which sectors and industries see the best results over the coming months. Interestingly, no one’s really starting from zero either – your performance and following on Instagram will have a direct impact on your initial Threads following (or Thread count, as I’m going to insist we start calling it).
Ultimately, any absence from a platform needs to be backed up with strategy. Whether through organic performance or through any emerging paid social opportunities, brands have got to be present and active if they want to make the right decision on usage.
Megan Carthy, In-House Marketing Manager
Threads and content marketing
From a content perspective, the introduction of Threads is interesting. Of course, at the base-level it's a micro-blogging platform just like Twitter with a few obvious differences. One of these is character count - Threads allows you to almost double what you can write in a tweet, so we may see a bit more of the written word than we do on Twitter.
By now most have heard of the Metaverse, but what about the Fediverse? Upon signing up to the Threads platform the 'Fediverse' is mentioned. It's defined by Wikipedia as an "ensemble of federated (or interconnected) servers used for web publishing" - which allows information to flow between platforms and services via something called the ActivityPub Protocol.
Perhaps the biggest hypothesised impact Threads may have on the world of content is due to the ActivityPub Protocol. The platform may become inter-usable with other apps like WordPress - a major tool for many bloggers, creators and businesses that would use the likes of Threads. This would allow a brand new kind of connection between apps that isn't currently available.
Many people have said the height of blogging has passed, but blogging may just be coming back for another bite of the cherry. It's definitely something to keep an eye on from an organic outlook!
Regan Foy, Content Specialist
THREADS AND SEO
Threads could potentially be a really positive platform in the SEO world.
Twitter has always been a hub for SEOs to share findings and ideas, as well as ask questions to other experts in the field, so it's possible that Threads could play a similar role in how the industry interacts with each other. With the recent usage limits on Twitter, people are starting to look elsewhere for a similar experience so it is a very good time for Meta to have revealed this.
A potential benefit of Threads is the longer character limit which would let SEOs (and digital marketers in general) go into a bit more depth in posts on the platform.
Joe Wheeler, SEO Specialist
THREADS AND DIGITAL PR
It's very early days, of course, but a couple of things (or loose threads) around the Platform are pretty easy to talk about.
Because it's linked to Instagram I think people will build trust quicker than with completely new apps appearing. They've already amassed a lot of sign-ups today.
It seems like building a more targeted community is going to be easier, so from a Digital PR point of view, it's likely going to make working with influencers a lot easier as brands will be able to find who is reaching their preferred audience.
We do, of course, need to see a bit more before we can understand how brands and the media will use it though!
Jennie Lindehoff, Head of PR & Outreach
THREADS AND PAID SOCIAL
With Threads set to be the 'new Twitter', it may work in a similar way of ads displaying in the feed.
There could potentially be something where we can connect data and audiences from Meta due to the shared ownership.
It's good for organic social to be an early adopter on the platform and brands like Burger King and Aldi have already started to farm impressions with meme-worthy posts and funny jibes.
From a Paid Social perspective though, nothing has been announced and it seems like Threads is getting their own house in order first - so we'll be watching out for releases from reps, and looking out for webinars from the platform.
Chelsey Rose, Paid Social Specialist
THREADS AND TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION
Threads is going to be disruptive which is a good thing - and the fact that it is owned by Meta is the key driver for the disruption. Meta are empowered in terms of the data they hold and how this can cross-pollinate between their platforms.
The key question is, to what extent will people actually vacate Twitter and use threads? Clearly, they've made a big splash in the news today and that will make people curious, but there have been other similar platforms and they have not truly taken off, except for marginal or esoteric reasons.
Twitter is sticky due to the thought leaders that publish on it, and fans flocking to engage with them. For Threads to be a credible threat, it depends on which high-profile users make that switch. A number of celebrities were early adopters to the platform.
From a tech and innovation point-of-view, the existence of a serious and notable competitor to Twitter should drive innovation from both sides, which should fuel some interesting changes to the landscape.
Al Rowe, Director of Technology and Innovation
the THREADS SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM
Threads is currently unavailable within the European Union due to their new Digital Markets Act - meaning that Meta has to figure a few things out about the regulation of data sharing between their platforms. Otherwise, it's rolled out and will continue to evolve in the coming weeks and months.
While this new dawn of social media is shiny, fresh and new, it's natural to want to learn more about what this platform could do for your brand or business moving forward. Want to talk to a specialist about Threads? Get in touch with us today.