By Will Freedman, Daryl Freedman, and Katie Miller
What is This “Threads” Everyone is Talking About?
The Backstory: When Elon Musk bought Twitter last fall, he enacted a series of changes to the platform which angered and frustrated die-hard users. Even if you don’t use Twitter, you probably heard the complaints from disgruntled Twitizens.
As a result of these unpopular changes, there’s been some serious pent-up demand for the “old Twitter,” and several individuals and companies have been working on new, less toxic social media apps designed to replace it.
Recently, Musk announced even more changes, namely, limiting the number of tweets users could view each day. And that was the proverbial straw that broke Twitter’s back.
A few days after this announcement, Meta released Threads in a bold move to capitalize on Twitter’s fall from grace. Many describe the new app, which is an offshoot of Instagram, as a kinder, gentler Twitter. At the time of writing this blog, it has already become the most rapidly downloaded app ever.
Undoubtedly, Threads’ timely release and skyrocketing success can be attributed to the debacle over the tweet count restrictions. Had it been released before Musk took over Twitter, it likely would not have gotten such an overwhelmingly positive reception.
A Threads Primer
If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering whether it makes sense for your business to join Threads. Here’s a “Threads Primer,” along with some pros and cons to consider for those who have yet to take the plunge.
How is Threads Different from Twitter?
At its core, Threads is similar to Twitter, or rather what Twitter was before Musk took over. It has no limit to how many posts you can see per day, nor is it crawling with bots, trolls, and controversy. Since Threads launched ahead of schedule, many functionalities are still to come. For now, it is lacking DMs, hashtags, ads, a desktop app, topic search, an edit button, photo/video tagging, “following” and chronological feeds. All that said, Threads chief Adam Mosseri indicated many of these features will be coming soon.
Perhaps best of all, Threads allows for 500 characters, compared to Twitter’s 280-character limit.
- Threads: The App, duh.
- Reply: Needs no explanation.
- Thread: A discussion.
- Repost: Sharing another person’s post to your profile.
- Post: An individual piece of text or media.
- Quote: Sharing another’s post along with your own thoughts.
- Threads has a 500-character limit. With Twitter, it can be hard to summarize your thoughts in just 280 characters. Threads allows for up to nearly double that amount. Users can also publish up to 10 images per post, and there’s a maximum video length of five minutes.
- You can log in with your Instagram account. Not only that, but you can sync who you’re following on Instagram to your Threads account.This makes it easier to get started by immediately following your friends.
- You can share threads to your Instagram feed or stories, and they link back to Threads as well. You can also share to Twitter.
- Threads has many missing features—for now. In its current state, Threads is missing many of the functionalities that made old Twitter Twitterific. However, many of these features will be added in future updates.
- Its longevity is not guaranteed. Apps such as Blue Sky and Mastodon have been heralded as “Twitter Killers,” apps designed to replace Twitter. However, none have succeeded thus far. Will Threads succeed where others have failed is yet to be seen.
- You cannot delete your profile. You can only deactivate it. This has to do with Threads’ connection to your Instagram account. Mosseri has indicated a fix is coming soon.
- You have little control over the current feed. For now, you’re going to see posts from people you’re not following or have no desire to follow. This will also likely change with future updates.
Should You Join Threads?
The day after Threads launched, social media managers were joking about being asked to develop their company’s “Threads Strategy” before they had even had an opportunity to use the app.
No organization wants to be left behind; that’s understandable. That said, we all need a little time to play with this brand-new toy and discover what it can offer before we develop a kick-ass strategy.
While ultimately it’s a strategic marketing decision, it takes little effort to join.And there’s something to be said for being an early adopter. Plus, its’ connectivity is quite useful for converting your Instagram followers into Threads followers.
As you should with all marketing channels, consider how you plan to use it and what social media platforms your audience uses. Even if your target market isn’t currently on Threads, having an active presence could help your business reach new audiences.
Will Threads Succeed?
Based on the track record of other “Twitter Killers,” maybe…or maybe not. It’s simply too soon to know if Threads will overtake Twitter. Only time will tell.
Either way, there’s no harm in joining. After all, what do you have to lose?