Unraveling Threads

A piece of long thread that loops once near the end and slightly lifts up at the end of the thread on a dark blue background.

Threads, the X (formerly known as Twitter) killer, or is it?

Threads launched in July, trying to answer and fill the void that many ex-X users (wow that is hard to say) needed. The idea of threads was about building community; creating a more positive and interactive digital space. Threads will eventually work with ActivityPub and the Fediverse (you can read more about those here). With their initial launch, Threads had around 49 million active users. However, now, Threads is hovering around 9.6 million active users. So will Threads replace X (Twitter)? With these statistics, probably not. At least not right now. Meta is still working on improvements, basic features, and desktop applications for Threads which currently leaves it behind X in terms of functionality.

What is Threads?

With a focus on connecting with friends, family, and others digitally and globally, Threads is a text-based social platform based on connection and community. Additionally, you can use Threads for streamlined messaging to connect better with key stakeholders, showcase thought leadership, and share industry go-tos. With Threads, you can start engaging in conversations, participate in meme culture, and experiment with new and creative ideas. The app allows 500 characters per post, and videos up to 5 minutes. You can post great visuals for photos and carousels, and people can reply with their images or videos.

Why Threads?

You might be asking yourself, should I be on Threads? For starters, we suggest looking at their privacy policy and other terms of use to determine if you agree with those first. You can read more about privacy concerns in this Times article here. If you agree with all of the terms and services, then creating an account is actually quite simple. Threads is linked to your existing Instagram account, allowing for ease of use in account setup, and transfers the network that you have already worked so hard to build. Additionally, when social platforms first emerge, it is easier to grow organically. You have time to grow before the platform implements algorithms that favour its advertising initiatives rather than your content. Unlike Threads, X continues introducing ways for the platform to cost money to use and interact with to get the most out of the app’s features. Currently, Threads is cheaper because it is free to use. Threads being integrated with Instagram, and being a newer platform, means it is also a great way to reach younger demographics. Threads is a great way to provide light-hearted content that Gen Z and Gen Alpha want to see from brands. Younger demographics love the “slightly unhinged” brand voice and unhinged marketing tactics. Take a look at some of the top brands on Threads today.

Cons of Threads

Due to Threads being linked to your Instagram account, at the beginning of its launch, one of the biggest cons was you cannot delete it. If you delete your Threads account, you will also then delete your Instagram account, something Threads has recently changed. The fast-paced and conversational aspect of Threads means you need good community management and risk strategies. Having the wrong person in charge of responding to comments and interacting with the community could be devastating for your brand or organization. You should not be on Threads if you are not going to interact, or develop conversations and spend the time trying to build community.

Woven Together

Threads has been listening to their community. With recent updates announced from Mosseri, such as pinning posts, privacy updates, being able to edit your post within five minutes, and more, Threads takes user engagement seriously.  Only time will tell if Threads can develop tight-knit communities for brands and organizations. If Meta can introduce the key features that people are used to from X and innovate them, then Threads has the potential to truly come together into something more.

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