Within the first 24 hours of the launch announcement, Mark Zuckerberg’s newest addition to the Meta portfolio succeeded in garnering 30 million users. Threads, a text-based app currently only available on mobile devices, is poised to become one of the fastest-rising social media platforms.
If you are one of the 102 million (and growing) early adopters, your phone has probably been bouncing off the walls with new follow requests as your friends and followers trickle in. Thanks to its connection to Instagram, pivoting to Threads is much quicker and simpler than doing so on an unaffiliated emerging platform like BeReal.
That said, the public was clearly ready to try a Twitter alternative. Why is that? All signs point back to Elon Musk purchasing the original text-based platform in October 2022.
How Twitter’s Chaos Led to an Opportunity for Threads
When Elon Musk purchased Twitter and installed himself as CEO, he promised grand improvements to the functionality and user experience, including the moderation of hate speech. So far, Musk has not delivered, and users have noticed.
Similarly troubling, especially for brands and advertisers, Musk instated a fee to retain authentication checkmarks for legitimate brand, organization, and public figure accounts – which are important for identifying fraud, scams, and misinformation. Because the authentication marks have always been free, many legitimate accounts chose not to pay the newly instated fee – while fraudulent accounts were happy to, resulting in mass confusion for users. As a brand, it is important to evaluate social platforms for value alignment before including them in marketing plans. When it comes to consumer trust and loyalty, brand credibility is king. Working with platforms that take steps to prevent brand impersonation should be a baseline expectation; one that Threads is embracing from the start.
Threads provides free verification for brands and public figures because of the integration with Instagram accounts. When an Instagram account is verified, it will also be automatically verified on Threads. No payment is required for this either.
Paired with its other missteps, Twitter’s most recent change may have been a critical hit. Just before the July 4th holiday, Musk announced that users would no longer be able to see an unlimited number of tweets, which would significantly impact user engagement and reach. The announcement stated that verified accounts would only be able to access 6,000 posts per day and unverified accounts 300-600 posts depending on account age. However, within hours, Musk backtracked, but the damage may already have been done.
What Musk likely didn’t know was that the Threads launch was perfectly timed to drop on July 5, right on the heels of the latest backlash against Twitter.
How Will Threads Affect Brands and Marketers?
So far, Twitter has unwittingly done a lot of the footwork to push users to Threads, and where users go, marketers will (and should) follow.
Case in point: when it was clear TikTok wasn’t just an app for kids anymore, ad revenue literally doubled from $2 billion in 2020 to $4 billion in 2021 while average monthly users increased from 465.7 million in 2020 to 655.9 million in 2021.
While Threads is much too new to have advertising solutions available, Meta may be able to offer ad placements quickly through Business Manager, which has already consolidated and simplified Facebook and Instagram advertising. Should Meta utilize Business Manager for Threads advertising, brands would be able to draw on the massive amount of data Facebook and Instagram have been collecting for years – a huge benefit that could create efficiencies and result in more successful campaigns from the start.
Threads’ Pros and Cons for Brands
Though Threads is quickly offering users solutions to their Twitter woes, the platform is still in its infancy and there are many unknowns for brands and marketers. In this early stage, here is a quick guide on what you should know about Threads today:
- It’s connected to Instagram, meaning users can automatically follow accounts that they are following on Instagram. This makes it painless for users to adapt to the platform and no doubt will continue to contribute to the already-staggering usage rates.
- As a Meta property, advertisers will have a wealth of data to draw on once advertising launches on the site.
- All users are brand new, meaning there’s lots of opportunity for brands to be creative in reaching new audiences organically while everyone is getting the lay of the land. Facebook and Instagram have scaled down organic reach for business accounts, but that is not the case on Threads.
- Threads profiles can only be deleted by deleting the attached Instagram account (though Meta is already working on a way to fix this).
- Posts are limited to 500 characters and attached videos are limited to 5 minutes.
- If your brand opted out of a Twitter presence, adding Threads to your marketing mix will require a different, more text-based strategy.
- The interface is streamlined and does not offer some prominent features users and advertisers are used to on Twitter, including trending topics, hashtags, and Lists.
Exploring a brand new social media platform can feel a lot like wading into uncharted waters, but fortunately, Threads is not completely reinventing the wheel. Between the Meta connection and the obvious similarities to Twitter, brands interested in reaching users on Threads will not have to start from nothing.
Working with MarketPlace
At MarketPlace, our team of experts is prepared to assist you in creating a robust social strategy – including Threads – based on our in-house research and insights. We are a 21-years-young agency that supports B2B and B2C human and pet nutrition and lifestyle brands and suppliers with business and brand strategy, research and insights, brand development, promotion, trade show strategy, and more. Ready to cultivate an award-winning brand? Let’s chat!