A few weeks back we made some predictions about Instagram’s new app Threads. How do those predictions stack up to reality? What is Threads like? Is it easy to use? Will it be more popular than Twitter?
Let’s explore these questions as we look at Threads together.
– Key Takeaways –
- A new app from Instagram set to rival Twitter – post up to 500 characters with a text emphasis (but can post videos, images and GIFS).
- Decentralised – you can interact with Threads content without having Threads installed.
- great opportunities for brands before the dust settles
What is Threads?
Threads is a new (July 2023) app from Meta (Instagram’s parent company). It was touted as being text-only and so, many people predicted it would be a Twitter killer.
Interestingly it isn’t text only, I’ve seen plenty of GIFs, images and even videos on the platform. It feels like a stripped-back version of Instagram with a bit more emphasis on text. Time will tell if it’s the Twitter killer people think it will be.
Some of the features of Threads I’m most excited about:
- Cross-posting: You can post content on Threads and to your Instagram stories at the same time. You can also post Threads content as a link anywhere else.
- Open social networking: People can read and engage with your content without ever needing to be on Thread themselves. This plays nicely into the decentralised nature of modern internet culture.
What is Threads used for?
Meta says it best:
“Threads offers a new, separate space for real-time updates and public conversations.”– Meta
It’s about participating in ongoing, public conversations.
I suppose, part of the answer to the question, “What is Threads used for” is in the answers to the question, “What Threads isn’t for”.
Thread isn’t a broadcast platform. Meta really are gunning for Twitter here, they’re looking to create a space for people to discuss emerging and current events with an emphasis on the conversations surrounding that. If you’re a publisher of news, you’ll be just fine broadcasting via Threads but everyone else needs to ensure that’s not part of their strategy.
Threads is ad-hoc and a-synch, you can jump into conversations and start new ones whenever you want and, there’s no pressure on you to keep up the pace right here, right now. You can take your time and come back to things. The pacing of trending events will of course vary, so don’t sleep on something you want to contribute to if it’s only going to be a flash-in-the-pan conversation.
Is Threads easy to use?
Threads is really simple. The best part of the setup is that, if you already have Instagram, it’s a couple of clicks to get started.
Simply head to the site (or download the app), follow the on-screen instructions – which are super clear – then you’re good to go.
You’ll be presented with the option to import your community from Instagram and will see a feed of posts that are tailored to your preferences based on who you follow.
Creating a new post feels really intuitive and you can add content besides text including videos and gifs.
How should brands behave on Threads?
Twitter is a good spirit level with the question of brand behaviour on Threads. Social media is about social interaction anyway, Threads takes that one step further and emphasises conversation.
What that means for brands is that broadcast messages flogging products will naturally not fit the bill. Brands wanting to get ahead should consider a conversational tone of voice and approach and build their content strategy around participating in the ongoing cultural conversations and creating their own conversations in adjacent but relevant categories to their brand identity.
Will Threads be more popular than Twitter?
Time will tell if Threads knocks Twitter off the top spot for text-based social media. There’s a loud anti-Twitter crowd on social however, that dissent doesn’t always correlate with the platform’s usage statistics. Our advice would be to let the dust settle and not give up entirely on your Twitter accounts just yet.