Meta’s app, Threads, launched broadly on July 6. The new text-based platform saw immediate adoption, with over 10 million people signing up for the service within the first few hours.
The platform’s functionality is almost identical to that of Twitter’s, giving users the ability to reply to, repost and like their favorite content. Posts can be up to 500 characters long and videos can be up to five minutes in length. The follow functionality is intuitive, allowing users to quickly click to follow a new account directly from the feed, rather than having to navigate to the account’s page. Threads can also be easily shared to your Instagram story or shared as a link on any other platform of the user’s choosing.
A user’s personalized feed will include threads posted by people and brands they follow as well as recommended content from new creators. Many brands and influencers with big names have already stepped up to create channels and begin posting at various levels of activity including Nike, Wendy’s, Spotify and Pepsi. While the app has garnered quite a strong sign-up count within its first few days, only time will tell if it is here to stay and become part of social users’ daily activity. Below, find key takeaways and insights from your MMGY Social Leadership team.
- Usernames on Threads will be the same as the corresponding Instagram account username and cannot be claimed by another profile, allowing for a much more seamless activation experience.
- Users must have an Instagram account to access the tool, further highlighting the connection between the two apps. This of course leads users to question: if they are so connected what necessitates the need for two apps?
- At this time, there are no ads or monetization capabilities on Threads. Meta states their priority is to build consumer value first and foremost, which will allow them to explore how to build business value as the app matures.
- Threads is now available for all Instagram account types, from creators to businesses to personal accounts, in more than 100 countries. At this time
- Threads is not available in the European Union, European Economic Area or Switzerland.
Threads is available for iOS and Android. The app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
- Meta notes they will be taking safety seriously on the platform, enforcing Instagram’s Community Guidelines on content in the Threads app.
Similar to all social media platforms, there are still general data and privacy concerns with Threads. That said, the app is clearly set to be a replacement for Twitter where privacy, safety and security have become fairly unstable in its current iteration.
The platform is new, and while it shows strong data surrounding sign-up at the moment, so have other apps that have claimed high usage for short stints of time, including Clubhouse and Lemon8. Only time will tell if Threads has the ability to become a long-term success, and therefore brands should be cautious about dedicating too much time to the platform.
Given its strong connection to Instagram and the ability for users to follow everyone they already follow on Instagram during the activation process, it will be challenging for Threads to differentiate themselves and add to users’ daily time spent online. As users become more comfortable with the platform, it will be important to see if the content shared on Threads can stand apart from its sister app.
As of right now ad capabilities are not offered on the app. Meta has stated their priority is to provide consumer value before looking at monetization features. While the ability to generate stronger ROI through advertising is always a benefit to brand accounts, how Meta decides to roll out ad opportunities may affect consumer sentiment.
Given its infancy, Meta does not currently have an API for Threads, therefore reporting cannot be combined with overall social performance metrics but instead will need to be calculated manually.
Meta’s goal behind Threads is for it to be a fun space that allows users to freely share their thoughts and engage with like-minded accounts. So far the app appears to be much less focused on news and real-time updates, which is a driving force behind Twitter usage. The high adoption rate Threads is seeing makes a strong case for brands to begin playing in the space and testing to see if they can generate strong consumer interaction and engagement from the app. Given its novelty, MMGY does not recommend allocating time away from other platforms, but does recommend testing content types to see if specific content can yield strong returns.