What the new platform means for marketers
With every passing day, it seems as though a new Twitter alternative enters the public realm. While many gain some notoriety, like Bluesky and Mastodon, none have gained as much traction in such a short amount of time as Threads, the fastest-growing online platform in history at 100 million signups in the first five days it was live. It debuted July 5, and by the following Monday, it had more than broken the record for fastest growth previously held by ChatGPT at 100 million users in two months.
“Our vision with Threads is to take what Instagram does best and expand that to text, creating a positive and creative space to express your ideas,” Meta said in their announcement July 6.
Twitter has been steadily bleeding followers amid owner Elon Musk’s acquisition of the site and a perception that the site is problematic. Meta decided to charge into the breach and create their own Twitter-like platform, which leaves people questioning whether or not to adopt yet another social media account.
Russell Herder’s Social Media Strategist Kelsey Christiansen expounded on the new platform’s ability to help brands reach new audiences. She says that while Threads does not do paid advertising currently, it is still a valuable space for business entities to test their messaging. “Exploring a new platform, like Threads, allows your brand to expand and reach different audiences, including individuals who may have felt alienated by Twitter’s current climate,” she says. “It’s hard to see any drawbacks to creating a profile, engaging with content, and exploring different ways of promoting your brand aside from the traditional platforms of Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.”
Threads surpasses Twitter in a number of user quality-of-life features. For starters, Threads offers post lengths of up to 500 characters, whereas Twitter only allows 280 unless the user pays for Twitter Blue. Threads can host video posts up to five minutes in length, but the free version of Twitter only allows video posts of just over two minutes. Perhaps most importantly, Threads offers free verification via Instagram, but Twitter requires a paid subscription to Blue in most cases.
Although it may be clearly aimed to counter Twitter, Meta built the infrastructure of Threads around Instagram, the app it acquired back in 2012. Instagram users wanting to start on Threads can simply sign in using their existing account. Similar to Instagram, Threads feeds will be algorithmic, that is, a mixture of posts from people you follow and people you don’t follow, but that the app thinks you might want to follow in the future. Threads users can also view Instagram user profiles while on Threads, which makes it excellent for reaching across platforms to new followers.
“Corporations, brands, pop culture icons, influencers, content creators, and individuals are on Threads, making it a very similar environment to Twitter’s landscape,” Christiansen says. “The platform itself also reflects Twitter’s main functions, making reposting, liking, and engaging with content feel second nature to those who are active on or who have previously used Twitter.”
Threads is mobile only, so laptop users will have to pick up their smartphones if they want to use the app.
However, it’s important to bear in mind that the app is still in its infancy, Christiansen said, and cross-platforming may be part of the platform’s new integrated features later on. “This is only for the time being – new components are being added, in addition to bookmarks, drafts, translations, and other new features,” she said. “This is a unique chance to get in on an app and watch it grow from the ground up.”
Russell Herder’s social media team already feels quite at home on Threads. They stand ready to help your brand consider its options and craft an online presence not just on Threads, but on all major platforms. We’re eager to help you get Threading!