Over the Fourth of July holiday, Meta quietly dropped its Twitter competitor and thus upended the to-do list of social media managers everywhere. Now that we have nearly a month on Threads under our belts, what have we learned? There’s no right answer to the question of “Do I need to be on Threads?” in our opinion, but there is some important information to consider when making that decision, whether personally or for your company.
- Threads may be a Twitter copycat, but the vibe is markedly different. Whereas news and politics thrive on Twitter, Threads is vocal that it doesn't want to replicate the other app’s position as a hub for journalism and current events. “There are more than enough amazing communities — sports, music, fashion, beauty, entertainment, etc. — to make a vibrant platform without needing to get into politics or hard news,” Threaded Instagram head Adam Mosseri. So, if you’re looking to connect with the media or make a political stand, you may be fighting through other, more lighthearted content.
- Many features that make Twitter work aren’t out yet on Threads. For one, the home page feed is algorithmic and users have complained about the lack of a following-only feed and seemingly random posts appearing. There are also no direct messages, which can be important for customer service. Mosseri has been transparent about this Threads iteration being only the first version. He Threaded: “We're on day eight of Threads, and growth, retention, and engagement are all way ahead of where I expected us to be at this point. But what I'm most excited about is the quality of the creator community that has shown up. Our focus right now is not engagement, which has been amazing, but getting past the initial peak and trough we see with every new product, and building new features, dialing in performance, and improving ranking.”
- We are very early to collect meaningful usage data on Threads. Yes, over 100 million people have signed up, but Instagram made it very easy - just a few button taps - to make a Threads account for existing users. So, are people using it? What are they talking about? Here’s what we know now. According to Sensor Tower, Threads has posted an 18% decrease in average time spent day-over-day from July 7 to July 13. This isn’t surprising, as the app figures out its audience, and we’ll continue to monitor trends over time to see if Threads can carve out a consistent, engaged user base.
For now, we’re recommending B2C clients who were shifting away from Twitter anyway consider a Threads presence, as well as clients who are highly active on Instagram and could benefit from another content stream for their engaged followers. As with any new app, the best strategy is an ever-evolving one, and we’ll continue to see how Threads unravels over the coming months.