The social media landscape has been shaken up by a brand new arrival, Threads. Released on Wednesday this week, the application is a new offering from Meta, and one set to rival Twitter in terms of text-based social media platforms. With a staggering 30 million signups by Thursday morning alone, Threads is certainly off to a great start. Let's take a look at Meta's latest product, its features, and how it could change the social media landscape.
What is Threads?
Released by the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, Threads is a text-based social media platform with a similar look and feel to its very clear rival, Twitter. Meta’s official description of the app is
Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow. Whatever it is you’re interested in, you can follow and connect directly with your favourite creators and others who love the same things—or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions, and creativity with the world.
While Meta intends to differentiate between Threads and Meta as much as possible, calling out the numerous advantages and improvements that the former provides, there are similarities when it comes to features. Here's a quick rundown of matching capabilities between the two:
- Similar user interface with a scrolling feed
- Predominantly text-based posts
- Photos and videos can be posted
- Reply to, repost and quote others’ posts
How does it work?
Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg gave his own summation of the idea behind Threads in a post on the platform, saying, “The vision for Threads is to create an option and friendly public space for conversation. We hope to take what Instagram does best and create a new experience around text, ideas, and discussing what’s on your mind.”
So, let's talk functionality and features. At this stage, to sign up for Threads, users have to have an Instagram account. Your username, password, and account name will be the same as that of your Instagram, and, an important caveat, if you wish to delete your Threads profile, you have to delete your Instagram account. In other words, once you get Threads, there's no going back unless you are prepared to sacrifice your Instagram account too.
More positively, Threads is designed to be a platform where users can have real-time, public conversations with one another. Posts on the app can be up to 500 characters, a major, and potentially attractive, jump upward from Twitter's 280-character limit. In terms of integration with Instagram, Thread posts are directly shareable to Instagram stories and users can import the Instagram accounts they follow directly to Threads. Verified Instagrammers are also automatically verified on the new platform too. In addition, your Threads account can be made public or private.
It seems that Threads has ultimately been designed as a kind of extension of Instagram, with Meta simply creating a new "segment" of the IG world where things are much more conversational, as opposed to Instagram itself, which has always been predominantly visual.
The outlook for Threads and for Twitter
The introduction of Threads also undoubtedly comes on the back of a window of opportunity Meta was smart not to miss. It is no secret that Twitter has experienced a tumultuous few months, and with so many unexpected and/or unwelcome changes to the app, many users have been signalling their exit and looking for an alternative. One thing looks quite certain, and it's that Threads could pose a major threat to Twitter.
By using Instagram itself as the point of entry for Threads, Meta has also smartly created a way to grow the app's user base quickly. Thirty million downloads on the first day post-launch is a strong indicator that Threads could grow exponentially, if, depending on how it is managed, it can keep long-term engagement up.
Meta has also expressed intentions to further develop the integration capabilities of the Threads app by enabling it to function within other platforms. This could be another huge plus for social media users, as it would allow them to migrate their followers across apps, not having to start "from scratch" on every new app they try. If Meta can make this happen, the long-term appeal and viability of using Threads could certainly be bolstered.
Ultimately, Threads has already made waves in the tech world, and it stands to create even more. Businesses that are watching the situation will be positioning themselves to capitalise on an attractive opportunity. When it comes to digital marketing strategy, being at the forefront of developments in social media - one of the most crucial aspects of this arena - keeps your business current and relevant. And, of course, businesses that do rely on Twitter and Instagram are highly likely to find Threads a great addition to their overall digital marketing strategy.
At NEXA, we pride ourselves not only on our social media strategy and management services but on keeping our finger on the pulse at all times, ensuring that we provide your business with the best guidance when it comes to utilising platforms. If you're interested in using Threads for your business, we can help you create the right strategy for this exciting new application. Speak to us today and find out more.