Written by Lauren Gibb
Following a huge burst onto the scene after its initial release on the 7th of July, Meta's ‘Threads’ app was developed as a new competitor for Twitter (now re-branded as ‘X’). But what is it all about, and what should brands and organisations be doing about it right now?
What is Threads?
In short, this is Meta’s try at a text-based content platform. Although it does have the capability to post links, photos and long-form videos, it’s been poised as an app for sharing ‘text updates and joining the public conversation.’
What’s the big deal?
With recent limits being placed on Twitter’s free product, Threads is Meta’s ‘strike while the iron is hot’ approach to stealing back some of the social market share from Twitter, especially while the company wades through a raft of new changes. Because of this, it’s an important shift in the social media landscape that is worth our attention.
How does it work?
Threads is a separate app from Instagram, except it syncs with your Instagram profile for ease. You can import your profile with your existing bio and links and follow the same people you follow on Instagram whether they have made a new Threads account or not. Your account can be private or public and can bring over all existing verifications. You can start a new ‘thread’ ala Twitter and do everything you could historically do on that platform, but on what ultimately feels like a lot more usable and friendly interface.
Will people use it?
Overall, Twitter use in Australia is comparatively low compared to countries like the US or the UK, and still feels quite ‘insular’ with key focuses within media and politics specifically. In that sense, the uptake of the platform amongst Australians will be interesting to see. As video content continues to dominate across social platforms, it’s not clear whether Threads will be able to cut through (despite touting video capability) amongst other, more established apps. Usage data collected since the launch of Threads also suggests that while the app launched quite explosively onto the market, ongoing usage has fallen since then. From a cultural standpoint, there is also an increase in social media fatigue, which may leave a large cohort of Australians questioning ‘Do we really need another social media app’?
What does this all mean for me?
If you have an active organic Twitter presence and strategy, you have nothing to lose in starting the switch and testing the waters – as they say, the early bird catches the worm. If you don’t have a Twitter strategy, we’d recommend a ‘sit-tight’ approach, to continue to monitor user uptake and general usage and content trends within the platform.
What does it mean for ads?
Meta has confirmed that Threads will not be available for advertisers this year, however, it is likely that this will eventually become a part of the wider Meta suite of placements.
If you have any further questions or would like to chat more about Threads and what it might mean for you, you can reach out to us here.
Accurate as of August, 2023.