ThinkOTB Agency

Can Threads unseat Twitter as the go to app for real-time public conversations?

July 25, 2023

Where do you stand on the Threads v Twitter argument? With the recent launch of Meta’s text-based Twitter rival – Threads – is attempting to unseat Twitter as the go-to app for real-time, public conversations. Marketers seem part excited, part exhausted by the thought of having to learn, and manage, yet another social media platform.

What do we know so far?

Meta is positioning Threads as an apolitical “friendly place,” and hoping that it will succeed where other platforms have failed as a competitor to Twitter. Meta has at least one advantage, and that’s the size of its existing user base, with more than two billion active Instagram users globally, compared to Twitter’s active user base, that sits somewhere around the 250 million mark.

And, as users don’t need to create a separate account, username or profile from Instagram, content creators with massive followings are flocking to the app – not only because they can choose to retain all their Instagram followers and their blue verification ticks rather than having to start from scratch, but Twitter was never a place where they felt comfortable sharing their thoughts because it was too cluttered and you could get easily overwhelmed.

As a result, when Threads launched, it became one of the most rapidly downloaded apps ever, amassing more than 70 million users in the first two days. And, in the first few weeks, users weren’t just signing up, they were posting. More than 95 million posts and 190 million likes were shared on the app.

Shortly after Threads hit 100 million users, however, the engagement dropped, with daily activity dropping 20% and time spent on the platform falling by 50% from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. It’s also been reported that the number of daily active users has already dropped by 25% and time spent on the app has also dropped by over 50% from 20 minutes to 8 minutes. Which raises the question, is Threads her to stay or is it simply the latest marketing fad?

Let’s take a look at the pros…

  • It’s great for early adopters as at the moment it will prioritise your content in a drive to increase its overall number of users and engagement figures. Early adopters will also be able to grab their preferred username, without having to add full points, underscores or numbers, so followers from other platforms can easily locate your account.
  • Users can post up to 500 characters in one post. That’s double the amount of a Twitter post! You have more scope to create emotive and engaging content without worrying about running out of words or having to compromise on your marketing messages in order to make them fit.
  • It supports a variety of multimedia content, although GIFs need to be saved onto your device first. You can also share up to 10 items in one post, the same limit for an Instagram post and six more than Twitter.
  • If you’re an SME looking to drive growth in your business, you’ve got nothing to lose by giving Threads a try, and it might just prove to be a great addition to your marketing mix.

Now for the cons

  • You can view Thread posts and profiles on the web through a link. But, you can’t log in through your own account and create posts.
  • The app doesn’t support the feature of a decentralised social network. This means you can’t migrate in or out of the server, but it is part of the development.
  • Because you’re using an Instagram account to log in to Threads, users have already raised questions about the app’s data collection, given the privacy labels mentioned in the App Store.
  • If you fully delete your Threads profile it will also delete your entire Instagram account. Meta are looking to rectify this to enable Threads users to delete their account separately.
  • It’s currently missing many of the basic features that we take for granted on other platforms. The majority of these are in the pipeline, but aren’t availabe yet:
    • Hashtags
    • Multiple accounts, for personal and business use
    • Desktop version for PC and Mac
    • Translation tool
    • Full search function, allowing users to search by keyword
    • DMs and live audio rooms
    • Paid tiers and ads

Our top 3 ways you could use Threads as part of your marketing strategy

  1. It could open up opportunities for brands to begin dialogue with additional niche audience segments. This is in addition to their core target audience, increasing awareness and opening up new revenue streams.
  2. Threads wants content creators, marketers, and brands to use its platform to reveal a more authentic side of their personality. This could be a good chance for brands to share lesser-known facets of their personality to deepen their connection with existing consumers. For example, their sustainability credentials or charitable work.
  3. The text-first format, and the ability to write longer posts, in theory, will enable brands to speak more freely and participate in conversations that put their core values front and centre, creating interactive, engaging two-way conversations with their target audience and, ultimately, driving advocacy.

Should we jump on the bandwagon?

Despite Meta having bold aspirations for Threads as an apolitical friendly platform, and a highly sophisticated algorithm, as with any other social platform, it’s users who will ultimately decide its fate. It’s too early to tell if Threads will simply be a flash in the pan, or if it’s here to stay.

In essence, it’s simply another social media platform to add to the already long list of others. Assess its merits as you would any other marketing channel. Are your target audience using Threads? What does your brand want to achieve on the platform? Will your brand story translate well into content that can be viewed on Threads? If it feels like a good fit, you’ve got nothing to lose by tipping your toe in the water. After all, as marketers, we should never miss an opportunity to test and learn.

As an award-winning creative marketing agency, we’re perfectly placed to help your decide if Threads is the right fit for your brand, sector and target audience. So, if you’d like some impartial advice from one of our experts, or if you need support with your latest creative marketing project, get in touch today.

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