With Threads being the newest and hottest commodity in the social media landscape, everyone wants a bite. If you and/or your business position your brand as innovative, adaptable, up to date on trends, etc. – you may think that making the jump is the right move for you and your business.
Before you make any decisions, let’s talk about all the buzz around Trends and if it is, in fact, the right move.
- Threads is going after Twitter as a direct rival
- Threads is directly tied to your Instagram account
- If you ever want to deactivate your Threads account, it also deactivates your Instagram account
- Threads plans to support the ActivityPub protocol, which will allow you to bring your audience with you through different platforms
- Threads is currently only available in 100 countries due to some security concerns
- There are some serious lawsuits between Twitter and Meta
What the Buzz is All About
Meta, co-founded by Mark Zuckerberg1, is the parent company of popular networking apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Due to recent events, Meta has seemed to create some much-talked-about PR with the release of their new app, Threads. Plans for this new app were confirmed about three months ago and the app was released on the evening of July 5th, 2023 – seeming to gain 10 million users in the first seven hours of its launch. Threads is a direct rival of the app, Twitter, currently owned by Elon Musk2, who acquired the app in October 2022. As Twitter seems to be growing more unstable due to some unpopular changes Musk has implemented, Threads poses a threat to the famous platform – being given the name, “Twitter Killer.”
Operating similarly to their rival, Threads is a microblogging, text-based way for sharing real-time updates and joining public conversations – while also being able to post photos and videos – in a positive and uplifting environment, unlike Twitter, according to Zuckerberg who told CNN Business3,
“The vision for Threads is to create an option and friendly public space for conversation,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Threads post following the launch. “We hope to take what Instagram does best and create a new experience around text, ideas, and discussing what’s on your mind” … “Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it. Hopefully we will.”
Threads makes its sign-on experience easy by being directly tied to the user’s Instagram account. This makes it easy to share your Threads posts to your Instagram story or as a link on other platforms. With over 3 billion monthly active users across all of Meta’s platforms, Threads has an edge over other Twitter dupes (such as Blue Sky, Hive Social, and Mastodon) due to their existing data, and scale. While also adopting many Twitter users who have expressed their desire for a Twitter alternative ever since Musk took over. All of this will feed into Meta and the new app’s coming success.
Why Your Business Should Join
As previously said, Threads is the new trend and people are joining at an accelerated rate. Unlike Twitter, Threads is not as fast-paced yet due to it being a newborn. This provides an opportunity to create brand awareness by giving your audience a look at your company before the app/user’s feed gets too content-cluttered, giving you an upper hand against your competitors.
Threads is actively working on joining the ActivityPub protocol to broaden the types of connections that are not possible on most social media platforms. Some apps that are already in support of the ActivityPub protocol include Mastodon, WordPress, Mozilla, and Flipboard – with other apps joining the movement every day.
ActivityPub, also known as the Fediverse, is a decentralized social networking approach that is interoperable with other apps that also support ActivityPub – Breaking the “walled gardens” that have existed in the social landscape for the past 15 years. On a decentralized network, there is not one sole person or organization that operates the network. In simple terms, any time you sign up for a new social app, you won’t have to rebuild your audience; your whole following and followers list come with you. Those things will now be part of the internet, not part of a singular app. Threads has implemented this by tying directly to your Instagram account so that all your data on that platform can be easily duplicated to this new platform.
This is great news for businesses that choose to adopt a new social platform; they won’t have to rebuild their audience, giving them an advantage in reach with no added effort.
Why Your Business Should Wait
If Threads seems to sound familiar, it’s because it had already been launched as a companion app to Instagram back in 2019, which was shut down two years later. It seems to have made improvements in the re-launch but has the potential to join Meta’s graveyard of apps such as Slingshot, Paper, Rooms, and IGTV.
With Threads being a new release, it is still a relatively bare-bones app. Missing many of the features users like and utilize, such as hashtags, streamlined search functions, a desktop version, direct messaging, trending topics, and even the option to edit posts once published. In a business aspect, it may be difficult for new and current customers to reach out through this app. It potentially could also create frustration when trying to manage the app since its current features are minimal when compared to other platforms.
Due to talks of adopting a decentralized approach to Threads, this poses a threat as this type of approach does not utilize typical tactics used for advertising. As of right now, there are no ads on the platform. If Meta decides to push out that option, it could boost its core advertising business. However, if Twitter has shown us anything, Threads is unlikely to attract as many ad dollars as Meta’s other platforms. When applied to a business marketing approach, social media advertising is huge and without that function available, it renders the app fairly useless in terms of bringing on revenue. This would force businesses to step up in organic posting in hopes of attracting and retaining their audience.
The biggest concern with Threads is that it is only available to users in 100 different countries due to its current safety and security guidelines. The Federal Trade Commission is concerned with how Meta currently handles user information. Because of this, it is not yet available in the European Union due to the strict social media regulations they have in place to protect users from platforms mishandling their information.
There is also the concern of a Threads account being tied to an Instagram account with user data sharing and issues that come with companion apps. Such issues are… If you ever wanted to deactivate your Threads account, it will deactivate your Instagram account as well. If you want to update your Threads username, you must update your Instagram username. If your Threads account gets banned, so does your Instagram account.
Meta is actively working on better-regulating Threads guidelines so that it can expand its user reach as well as address the issues it poses being a companion app.
The Battle of the Summer: Twitter versus Meta
Due to similarities between Twitter and Threads, Musk has already filed lawsuits against Meta for "systematic, willful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter's trade secrets and other intellectual property” as well as an official cease and desist. However, this is not the first time Instagram has competed against other apps such as Snapchat and TikTok.
It seems that this time, Meta is throwing lower punches with rumors of hiring former Twitter employees who were victims of Musk’s wave of layoffs specifically to work on Threads. According to a Threads post made by the Communications Director at Meta, he wrote, "No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee — that's just not a thing.”
With many more lawsuits expected to be on their way, is it worth investing in Threads at this time?
The key to marketing and social media is mastering the platforms that best suit your business. Until you master those, it is not wise to add any additional platforms to your roster. This trend is not fully baked and ready to eat, but worth keeping on the radar as updates and improvements are on the way.
Threads has the potential to join the Meta graveyard. The risk is higher due to it being directly tied to a business's Instagram account, there’s a concern of valuable content and audience being lost.
It is ultimately up to you and your business as to whether you want to jump in or not. However, if you find that you still haven’t mastered your current social media platforms, contact us today for a free consultation! We offer content management and creation services along with many others that can set your business up for success.