We’ve seen this before: the thrill, the frenzy, and the eager adoption that accompanies the launch of a new social platform. This time, the digital sphere is abuzz with Mark Zuckerberg’s latest creation: Threads. Within a week of its release, Threads amassed a jaw-dropping 100 million users—a feat that even outstripped Zuckerberg’s expectations. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the Facebook (now Meta) founder reveals there are currently no plans to introduce advertising to the platform. Nevertheless, brands are already migrating to this platform, meticulously building their presence and reach.
Threads is a free text-based conversation app developed by Meta, allowing communities to come together and discuss various topics. It requires an Instagram account to sign up and the deletion of a Threads account requires the deletion of the connected Instagram account. High-profile figures like Lily Collins and Kim Kardashian are already using the app, expressing hopes for a positive, less hostile platform.
Threads shares features with Twitter, such as newsfeeds, ‘like’ functions, and reposting abilities. However, it differentiates itself by increasing post length to 500 characters and allowing five-minute videos. It directly positions itself as a Twitter competitor, aiming to reach over a billion users. Twitter has reacted to these similarities by threatening to sue Meta.
The usual heavyweights, including Netflix and Nike, have carved out their space on Threads, each boasting follower counts between one to two million. The engagement strategy here is simple yet effective—prompt users into conversation. Queries like “Social media managers, y’all ok???” (Netflix) or “Drop your favorite Nike sneaker of all-time below” (Nike) serve to facilitate interaction and community-building.
However, it’s not just the giants making a splash. Lesser-known brands are showing they too can be creative and engaging. For instance, U.S. fashion brand Anthropologie has initiated a unique competition: requesting the best Anthropologie-themed puns from its followers, with the most innovative contributors receiving coupons.
With Twitter’s uncertain future under Elon Musk’s leadership, and its present issues, Threads appears as a safe alternative for corporations and celebrities seeking a stable social media platform. Ultimately, the draw for brands to Threads doesn’t need to be special or innovative – it just needs to provide a Twitter-like experience with a user base that brands can engage with, marking another potential win for Meta.
Unlike Twitter, which became renowned for its memorable cultural moments, Threads seems more poised to be a reliable communication channel for brands to their customers, lacking the fun or cultural elements that characterized Twitter. Much like Instagram, another Meta product, Threads is expected to follow a similar path of heavy brand presence and potential future advertising, despite its current ad-free status.
On Threads, brands and high-profile figures are anticipated to create distinctly different content than what Twitter was known for. Zuckerberg’s previous strategy of gradually increasing ads on Instagram, to the point where it is now intrinsically intertwined with its content, may hint at Threads’ future. While Threads may be more chaotic than Instagram, the focus isn’t on the platform’s culture but on its utility for brands and likely inevitable user migration.
The approach to Threads by these early brand adopters is a well-calculated risk. By entering the fray early on, they aim to rapidly accrue a large organic following, much like the successful strategy adopted on platforms like BeReal by the fast-food chain Chipotle.
Despite these promising beginnings, it’s clear that the focus on Threads is currently more on generating buzz than traditional marketing. Some users have described the current atmosphere on Threads as a chaotic group chat, where nobody knows what’s going on. Brands venturing into this unchartered territory will need to balance between contributing to this buzz and developing a long-term strategy that keeps their audience engaged.
So, what’s next for Threads and the brands flocking to it? Only time will tell. But one thing is certain—it’s an exhilarating place to be, and brands that can navigate this chaotic, buzzing sphere might just find themselves reaping substantial rewards. If your brand isn’t on Threads yet, it might be time to consider taking the plunge.
Cover picture: © Meta
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