Goodbye Twitter, hello Threads?
Meta just launched its competitor to Twitter: Threads. The app connects to Instagram by allowing users to create a profile directly from their Instagram account. Threads offers convenience by automatically giving you the option to follow the same Threads accounts that you follow on Instagram. This makes it easy to connect with your current Instagram followers without having to go through the hassle of creating a brand new account and growing followers. Similar to Twitter, Threads allows users to share text updates and join public conversations.
Although it’s still new and (likely) evolving, we’re breaking down the Threads basics.
How does Threads work?
Users can access Threads by downloading the Threads app and logging in using their Instagram account. Posts in the Threads app can be up to 500 characters long and can include links, up to 10 photos, and videos up to 5 minutes in length. Just like on Twitter, users can like, reply, and repost ‘threads’ from other users. If your page is public, any user is able to search and see your profile at any time.
What are people posting on Threads?
Thirty million users (and counting!) signed up for the Threads app on its first day. Because it’s brand new, Threads is currently considered the ‘wild west’ of social media. Users are still discovering how to use the app, how to connect with others and what content types are popular. This exploratory phase will likely continue for the next couple months, as both individual users and larger brands figure out best uses for the app and develop strategies.
Mark Zuckerberg has labeled Threads as an ‘open and friendly public space’ and on the first day, that has proven to be true. Currently, the ‘vibe’ on Threads is overwhelmingly positive, with users saying they’re excited to have a fresh start on an app that doesn’t carry the same baggage and restrictions as Twitter. A common content theme is encouraging others to create an inclusive space—a welcome alternative to the negativity that has invaded the Twitter platform.
How is Threads different from Twitter?
The Threads concept is very similar to Twitter, but there are some features that are not shared across both platforms. Most notably, because Meta created both Instagram and Threads, you can easily switch between the two apps. With Threads, you can seamlessly share a thread directly to your Instagram story or Instagram feed. You can share threads from your own account or share a thread from another account.
Currently, there are no paid ads on the app. However, your verification mark from Instagram is carried over — even if you have paid for Meta Verified. There is talk that it may be a possibility in the future. The app also doesn’t support long-form video, direct messages and live audio rooms like Twitter does. Threads also does not link hashtags. While some users are posting threads with hashtags, they do not link to a larger conversation on this platform.
What are the drawbacks?
- Threads are limited to 500 characters so longer posts need to be shortened when posting across platforms.
- There is no built-in photo editing, so any edits need to be made before posting to Threads. This includes cropping, filters, etc.
- There are no direct messages or long-form videos like there are on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
- Currently, Threads is only a mobile app and while threads can be viewed on the web, threads cannot be posted from the web.
- Threads that users see on their homepage are not only from people they are following – there is no “following” feed. A user’s feed includes a combination of people you follow and people you may like.
- There are no hashtags like there are on most other social media platforms.
- You must delete your Instagram account to completely delete your Threads account. However, you can deactivate your Threads account without affecting your Instagram profile.
Should my business be on Threads?
Simply put: it’s too soon to tell. Because Threads will continue to grow and develop over the next several months, it’s difficult to know if Threads fits into your organization’s unique social strategy. There’s no rush to join—your username is reserved for you until you decide to join and it cannot be claimed by anyone else.
Due to its popularity, we anticipate Threads will become an integral part of many businesses’ social strategy.
What is the process for creating and maintaining a Threads account?
Threads uses current Instagram accounts as a quick way to create a new account on Threads. There is no need to reset up a profile, bio, or account name – it will pull everything straight from your Instagram account. It also pulls in followers and who your account is following. When you make an account, it will connect you with Instagram followers that have also joined Threads and give them the option to follow you. To create a post, you just click the “drawing” button at the bottom middle of the screen and the Thread will begin.
Social media is a constantly evolving realm, and we’ll be actively on the lookout for any updates that impact our work, ready to test and adapt to new changes. That’s what we’re here for!