Branded as the “Twitter killer,” Meta is calling Threads “a new app for sharing text updates and joining public conversations.” So far, it’s generated A LOT of conversation. It’s also almost certainly a big reason that Twitter has suddenly rebranded as “X” and lost its iconic bird logo. Threads launched on July 5th and within 24 hours was downloaded over 30 million times, making it the most-rapidly downloaded app in history, according to the New York Times. Within five days, the app amassed over 100 million users.
Threads uses existing Instagram accounts to seamlessly sign users up for the platform. (An ultra-convenient way to tap into Instagram’s two-billion-strong active user base.) New users can simply download the Threads app and use their Instagram account to log in. Everything from Instagram, including usernames and who users are following, automatically carries over to Threads.
With text-based posts, Threads looks a lot like Twitter. Posts can contain up to 500 characters and can include photos or videos as supporting content. If you don’t trust our copy specs, just ask American Eagle.
Users can interact with posts by liking, commenting, reposting, quoting, or sharing.
Threads has a different vibe. It’s clear Meta wants Threads to be different than other social media platforms. In comparing Threads to Twitter, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said, “There are more than enough amazing communities—sports, music, fashion, beauty, entertainment, etc.— to make a vibrant platform without needing to get into politics or hard news.” Threads doesn’t want to be branded as a source of news like Twitter. For now, there are no ads on the new platform, outside of this first “sponsored post” from Adam Rose. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has claimed they will not monetize the platform until it reaches 1BN users. Time will tell if this holds true, but for the moment, people and brands are having fun with the new platform.
Now that the honeymoon phase is over, Threads is starting to see a decrease in user engagement. According to Similarweb, time spent within the app has declined from 21 minutes on July 7th to only 6 minutes on July 14th. Threads was naturally pulling users in, even from Twitter, because it was the flashy new toy. The challenge for Threads now becomes finding room in our everyday social lives. Who we follow and what we’re interested in across platforms varies. Meta’s not concerned with the decrease, but the move to add viewing limits (yes, the same move Twitter faced backlash for) may not be a good start.
As marketers, it makes a lot of sense for Meta to add Threads to Meta Ads Manager in the future. Meta Ads Manager already features the capability to run ad campaigns across Facebook and Instagram. Adding Threads to the mix with similar ads formats would be an easy next step; however, Meta will need to grow the platform before rolling that out.
In the meantime, brands are embracing the platform for what it is currently – a chaotic, ad free environment for brands and users to interact. Some are syndicating the same content as Twitter, testing results on the new platform, while others are using humor to gain followers. Like most social apps before Threads, the early adopters are younger. Our advice? If your brand has a younger audience, take the opportunity to test the platform. Find out where it fits or doesn’t fit within your social media mix and have some fun.
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