By Alli Donovan
Heard of Threads? The app that’s had all social media managers on their toes since launching in July 2023. A very similar platform to X (formerly known as Twitter), Threads is a new text-focused app built by the Instagram team.
Our team has been keeping a pulse on Threads, and we’re going to give you the details.
In this blog, you’ll find:
- A deep-dive into Threads.
- Updates to the app since its launch.
- Guidance on whether you should be using Threads, and if so, how you should use it.
What is Threads?
Threads was created and released by Meta’s Instagram team. Different than Instagram, Threads focuses on text updates and joining public conversations. Users log in using their Instagram accounts; and, posts can have up to 500 characters and include links, photos, and videos up to five minutes in length.
Plus, once you sign up, you can automatically import all your “Following” accounts from Instagram. But, keep in mind, you cannot import your followers.
Threads vs. Twitter (X).
As mentioned before, Threads is very similar to X. Think Threads = Zuckerberg’s version and X = Musk’s version. There are a couple of distinct differences between the two apps.
- Account Sync: X is its own platform. You log in using an email, phone number or username, and the account is not tied to anything else. But as we mentioned, Threads is linked to Instagram. It’s important to note that you cannot delete your Threads account without deleting your Instagram account entirely.
- Multimedia Posts: Both X and Threads allow users to share links, photos or videos in posts. GIFs can even be used in both platforms; but in X, you can grab a GIF directly on the app. In Threads, you have to save the GIF to your camera roll first to post. Secondly, X only allows four images per post. Threads allows up to 10 images—just like an Instagram carousel.
- Text Limit: Twitter was infamously known for 140 characters on tweets. Users were ecstatic when the app upgraded the count to 280 characters in 2017. X Premium (previously known as Twitter Blue), the subscription version of X, allows character limits of up to 25,000 characters in posts. However, Threads is 500-character limits, and no subscription services are offered.
- Hashtags: Twitter was the founder of hashtags in 2007. They’ve always had them, and we don’t see that changing with X. However, as of now, Threads does not support hashtags.
Updates to Threads since July.
Threads shook the social media world when it launched on July 5. With over 100 million users logging in, it broke the record of fastest sign-ups on a social media platform.
However, less than four weeks after its launch, various news outlets were reporting that Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged Threads had lost more than half of its users.
Despite the downturn of users on Threads, updates have been consistently arriving on the app. Throughout the months of July and August, Meta has done a remarkable job of listening to its audiences. Here are some of the updates we’ve received thus far:
- Threads is now available on desktop. Originally a mobile-only app, the platform launched its desktop version on August 22.
- Threads has added the capability for users to “mention” others’ usernames in posts.
- Threads users have expressed the need for posts in chronological order. Threads added a feed option to see only posts from people you follow in chronological order.
- Testing of keyword searching has officially begun. Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, posted on September 1 that keyword searching is available in Australia and New Zealand.
- A “Reposts” tab has been added to profiles, so that users can see all their reposts in one place on the app.
- You can share Threads in Instagram DMs. All you have to do is tap the “Share” button and hit “Send on Instagram.”
- See previous Threads you’ve liked on your profile by clicking “Settings” and selecting “Your Likes.”
- When in the “Activity” tab on Threads, users can now sort through different types of activity at the top (i.e., follows, replies, mentions, etc.).
- For more accessibility, users can add alt text to images and videos on their posts.
As you can tell, that’s a lot of evolving for the app only being live for three months. One thing that we found super helpful was following Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) on Threads. He posts very frequently about updates coming to Threads, tips and tricks, and most importantly—he asks for feedback.
Should I be on Threads?
As a B2B marketing agency, we have received the question from our clients: Should our brand be on Threads?
It’s a tough decision. As marketers, we see a new social platform launch, and our first instinct is to meet our audience there. We see floods of people sign in, news outlets covering it 24/7, and who knows? It could be the next “go-to” app…
But the reality is that our audience may not be there. Our bandwidth may not be able to handle another app. Or our brand just simply may not make sense in that space.
Here are some questions that we think should be discussed before signing your organization up for Threads:
- Is your audience on Threads? Will they be in the near future?
- Does your marketing department have the manpower to manage the platform?
- Are you able to create thoughtful, entertaining and educational content consistently?
- Is your team available to have conversations with customers, rather than pushing content?
If you’ve answered “yes” to all these questions, give Threads a try. With Threads being such a new platform, everyone is at a level playing field. Upgrades are constantly being added, users are joining (or leaving) every day, and brands are still figuring out their footing regarding what content does and doesn’t work.
If you decide to join Threads, here are our initial recommendations:
- Have fun with your content. Utilizing trending memes, speaking on random thoughts, and chiming in on fun conversations are “in.”
- Interaction is key. Interact with users or brands to get in on conversations. This will drive exposure and bring your content to the eyes of users who may not be following you.
- Use Threads as another opportunity to drive your followers to a website, blog, video, etc.
- Keep up-to-date on new features and updates on the app. This will keep your brand at an advantage when using Threads.
- Go with the flow. This is a great opportunity to experiment with content and try out new ideas.
Using Threads will look different for everyone. As of right now, there is no playbook. There’s no right or wrong. Have fun, experiment, and create great content for your brand.
Miller Brooks is a marketing and advertising agency located in Indianapolis, IN. We fuse strategy with creative and bring clarity to chaos.
To check out our work and learn about our services, visit our website at millerbrooks.com.