Our Channels team put together a brief to help brands navigate the sudden emergence of Threads by Instagram. Read on, and reach out if you’d like to discuss more.
TLDR: Our recommendation for brands
If you already have an Instagram account, get on Threads ASAP. Start experimenting by sharing content you would have put on Twitter, as well as any recent posts that have performed well on Instagram and other platforms. Interact with users. Threads is in a pre-advertising state, so now is a good time to start building a follower base while the playing field is a bit more even.
Threads by Instagram is an all-new social media platform created by Meta as a direct response to Twitter, which has been plagued with issues since its acquisition by Elon Musk this past fall. As of this morning, more than 30 million people signed up for Threads, putting it on track to become the fastest growing app of all time. To put that in perspective, Twitter currently has 250 million daily active users. Instagram has more than a billion.
The blog post introducing the app on Instagram.com shares the company’s vision for Threads: “to take what Instagram does best and expand that to text, creating a positive and creative space to express your ideas.” A key piece of this statement is the mention of positivity, which contrasts it with what many view as a negative environment on Twitter. And, its current usage reflects this. Current interaction has been playful and friendly with many brands and personal accounts using the platform to share memes about themselves, Twitter, Threads and social media managers.
Users have been drawn to the UX of Threads – its functional and simple layout invokes the nostalgia of “old Twitter,” with users even noting “Meta is killing Twitter, by launching old Twitter.”
Paid opportunities are currently TBD, but we assume it will be integrated into the Meta advertising platform in the near future. The platform has hinted at other upcoming updates, including search/discovery, hashtags, a following feed, graph syncing, fediverse support and potentially messaging.
Here’s how your brand can get started:
- Jump right in – If you already have an Instagram account, sign up for Threads! Brands already are taking advantage of this completely organic space to get the word out, and they are owning the fact that nobody has all the answers right now. Utilize typical social media best practices as your guide.
- Interact with the community – Search with users talking about your area or even your brand, and chime in. Threads is an active community right now – take advantage of the interest and
- Test and Learn – Look at both your own content, as well as competitor content and see what types of posts are resonating with users. Shift your content accordingly.
How do Twitter and Threads stack up?
Threads, of course, has eerily similar features and functionality to Twitter. Users have a main feed where they are able to see posts from other users. Posts can include links, photos and videos, and users can like, repost and reply to updates. That said, there are a few key differences:
- Mobile vs. desktop. The platform is currently only available within the mobile app. However, a desktop version is expected to go live at a later date.
- The sign-up process. When users download the Threads app and go to create their profile, it automatically syncs with their Instagram account. You can easily import your profile photo, account details, and followers – prompting you to follow the same audience on the platform.
- Why is this important? If brands activate their Threads profile early, their Instagram follower base can choose to automatically follow them on the platform when they activate their profiles.
- Character limit. Threads posts can be up to 500 characters long, surpassing Twitter’s 280-character limit.
- Why is this important? Brands can create longer, more meaningful messages with additional context.
- Direct messages/inboxes. Threads is not currently offering any sort of DM system. It’s unclear if they’ll add it in the future, especially since Meta already pushes Instagram users to Messenger.
- Why is this important? This impacts how social managers can handle community management. Without DMs, it’ll be more challenging to take customer complaints or support requests to private communications channels.
- Hashtags. There are currently no hashtags on Threads, although we expect them to roll out as a feature soon.
- Why is this important? Hashtags are a critical way for users to connect around topics and themes, increasing interactions and engagements.
- Trending topics. There is currently no way to search for or view trending topics on the platform.
- Why are these important? The lack of searchability and categorization impacts the digital discovery on the platform. The algorithm seems to be relying on an AI generated ranking and delivery system.
Want to talk more about how your brand can use Threads? Reach out!