Threads is Meta’s newest social product. It was built by Instagram and is a text-sharing app and Twitter competitor. Threads offers a new, separate space for real-time updates and public conversations. Just like on Instagram, Threads users can follow and connect with friends, creators, and brands.
Threads is the name for both the app as well as the name for posts within the app. A thread is content a user posts that appears on their profile and in the Threads feed. Threads can include short pieces of text (up to 500 characters), links, photos, videos (up to 5 minutes), or any combination of them.
Similar to Instagram, users’ feeds will showcase threads by people they follow. Additionally, their timeline will showcase the threads that people they follow engage with. There currently isn’t a discover feature. However, Threads will recommend content based on what the algorithm finds each user will engage with. The Instagram team is making discoverability and integration between Threads and Instagram easy by allowing users to share threads via Instagram stories, as well as allowing users to share posts on any platform of their choice.
How to create a Threads account:
Because Threads is powered by Instagram, the only way to create a Threads account (at this time) is by creating an Instagram account, or using your current one. The good news is that because the two apps are linked, users don’t have to claim account names. Whatever a user or brand’s name is on Instagram will be the same username on Threads.
Creating an account is as easy as logging into Instagram > clicking the hamburger icon on the top right corner of your profile page > selecting Threads > clicking “Get Threads” > and downloading the Threads app. Once you download the app, the login will auto-populate with your Instagram username and give you the option to import your instagram bio and links, as well as give you the option to enter new info.
Is there advertising on Threads?
Currently you cannot run ads on Threads, though that is a feature we expect to be added soon, as Meta is looking to capitalize on Twitter’s recent exodus of advertisers. When advertising on Threads becomes available, each user’s Thread and Instagram information will be used to personalize ads and other experiences across both apps. With such a high adoption rate in a short amount of time, Threads is a great opportunity for brands and advertisers alike.
The future of Threads:
According to Instagram, future versions of Threads will work with the fediverse, which is a collection of distinct servers set up by users, similar to how Mastodon currently operates. If creators of one server want to make their content available to others on a different server, then those servers become “federated” and can communicate with each other.
Even though Threads is an extension of Instagram, allowing the app to leverage a massive existing user base, it may be hard to transition users that are accustomed to a visual medium to a text-centric one.
There is also concern about privacy, since it is tied to Meta and they’ve had a history of selling user’s info. Twitter also threatened to sue Threads for stealing trade secrets, so we’ll have to wait and see if anything comes from that.
Unlike Twitter, Threads presently only supports iOS and Android, and does not yet have a web-accessible version. The platform does not currently support hashtags or have a feature that allows users to search for specific texts or phrases, and there’s no word if either feature will be added in future iterations.
Recommendation for brands:
Threads already claims 100 million users with more predicted to join. Mindgruve recommends creating a Threads account, even if your brand isn’t quite ready to start posting.
Since the platform is linked to Instagram, the onboarding is seamless for brands and others. When you first log in, the Threads app will prompt you to follow the same accounts you do on Instagram. This convenient feature makes it more likely that your existing audience will follow you from Instagram onto Threads.
Brands have already flocked to the platform. Some of their threads are creative, funny, conversational, etc. Since the platform is new, brands can expect an increased reach for the time being.
Additionally, with Twitter being criticized by users and advertisers due to the recent changes the platform has made, Threads offers a new opportunity for brands. Meta’s substantial user base and strong relationships with advertisers also give Threads a competitive advantage.