What’s the Deal Threads?

The 6th of July, 2023 marked the launch of Meta’s new social media project, a Twitter rival called Threads. As a digital marketing agency, we couldn’t help but be intrigued by the potential impact this app could have on marketers and businesses alike.

So, what exactly is Threads? Well, it’s a free app available for download on iOS and Android devices, designed specifically for easy and secure messaging with your close friends with an urmmm Twitter and Instagram feel.

The app offers users a variety of features for sharing text updates, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes long.

But while Threads offers several notable features for intimate communication, there are a few key aspects it currently lacks. One significant omission is the absence of a direct messaging feature, which is commonplace on other social media platforms and allows users to have private conversations outside of group chats.

Additionally, Threads does not include a “Following” feed, limiting users’ ability to easily see posts from the people they follow. Another limitation is the lack of a full web version, restricting access to the app’s functionality solely to mobile devices.

Furthermore, Threads’ non-chronological feed arrangement means that posts are not displayed in the order they were posted, potentially leading to missed content or confusion. In terms of additional features, users are unable to share posts to other platforms, create polls, or include links within their posts.

Three days after the launch of Threads, Meta announced the launch of a beta programme for Threads on Android, inviting users to gain early access to upcoming features and bug fixes. By engaging users in the beta program, Meta aims to gather valuable feedback to improve the app and ensure that Threads delivers a top-notch experience for all its users, facilitating seamless sharing and communication among users.

The launch of Threads has been nothing short of remarkable. Within the first 48 hours, the app boasted a staggering 97 million users. And on 10 July 2023, four days after it launched,  it reached the 100 million milestone – easily beating the growth rates of other major platforms like ChatGPT, TikTok, and Instagram.

However, as with any new app, privacy concerns have arisen. Some users have expressed worries about the app’s privacy disclaimers, particularly regarding the amount of data linked to their identity. To address these concerns, Meta has provided options to deactivate your Threads profile or delete both your Instagram and Threads accounts, as the two platforms are interconnected.

For marketers and businesses, Threads presents both opportunities and challenges. The seamless integration with Instagram, which boasts 1.6 billion users outside the European Union, allows for immediate access to an engaged audience. The ability to share Threads posts as Instagram Stories, posts, or on other social networks offers marketers new avenues to promote their accounts and gain followers.

However, the lack of a defined purpose and strategy on Threads could pose challenges. Brands and creators must ensure that their content serves a purpose and aligns with the community’s expectations. Simply repurposing content without a clear intent might dilute the app’s essence. As the saying goes, “Communities with purpose thrive, while purposeless content dies.”

Additionally, Threads could revolutionise ad targeting and marketing. Although Meta has stated that ads will not be present on the app for the first year, the data collected from Threads could significantly enhance ad targeting capabilities on Instagram. Marketers will need to grapple with questions about where to allocate their budgets, whether to invest in influencer marketing on Threads, or to prioritise other social media channels.

However, the launch of Threads has not been without controversy. Elon Musk’s Twitter is reportedly considering legal action against Meta, accusing the company of poaching former Twitter employees to develop the app. Less than 24 hours after Threads’ debut, Twitter’s threat to sue raises questions about the competitive landscape and potential legal battles that may shape the app’s future.

Threads has emerged as a game-changer in the social media landscape. While it may not drastically alter user sentiment or conversations, it holds the potential to redefine ad targeting, challenge marketers’ worldviews, and offer new opportunities for brand exposure and influencer marketing.

As the app continues to evolve, marketers must adapt their strategies accordingly, keeping an eye on user behaviour and engagement. The path ahead may not be crystal clear, but for those willing to explore the untapped potential of Threads, the rewards could be significant.

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