Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Threads: What You Need to Know Right Now

The compelling new social media platform is worthy of consideration.

In early July 2023, Threads was launched by Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. The debut created a whirlwind of conversation and within the first week of its existence, the new social media platform reported more than 100 million downloads.

Threads by Instagram

Touted as a competitor to Twitter, Threads features highly simplified integration with Instagram. After downloading the app to their phone, users sign in through their Instagram account with a few clicks, and, just like that, all their Instagram data is ported right over.

Given this is so new and that our channel tends to be a bit unique, I wanted to hear what other marketing pros had to say about Threads and what their current suggestions are. Leslie Carothers, principal of digital marketing agency, Savour Partnership, had this to say about Threads:

“Threads is a wonderful tool for brands to reach consumers for no cost, at least for now. Given that it’s tied to a brand’s Instagram account, with over 100 million downloads in its first week, it’s clear consumers were ready for a new way to engage in quick, casual conversations. Threads is not so much for selling, but more about listening, engaging, and building relationships with followers. Brands can share their personalities in fun, casual ways, and Threads doesn’t require the production of more time-intensive and polished content like Instagram does, although brands can still share a link, an image, or a video on Threads.”

This part I like, very much. As a storyteller who helps brands and people reach their targeted audiences, the ability to share content with authenticity and to have fun with the narrative and imagery are at the top of my list. However, like most things, the devil is in the details. There are a few concerns about the way the platform is set up.

More Secrets of Success

“A downside of Threads, at the moment, is that, although you can deactivate your Threads account, you can’t delete your Threads account without also deleting your Instagram account. And although not a downside per se, Carothers cautions brands to “be aware that any @reply a brand makes to anyone on Threads can be seen by everyone — and shared by anyone — to their Instagram Story or Feed.”

She makes a very good point. For brands with social media managers or agencies, discuss this with your team now and establish a game plan before someone implements anything without your permission. Once a brand or a person signs into Threads, the platform must be managed, monitored, and, most importantly, fed regularly to be effective. Do you have the resources for this?

Amanda Blennerhassett, CMO of Kordz, shares her thoughts, as well: “The battle between Twitter and Threads may ultimately become another front of the greater conflict between political ideologies. Facebook (among other big tech platforms, including Twitter under its previous ownership) has been criticized in recent years for colluding with government organizations in censorship that have shaped the narratives and evolution of our society. Whether or not you think that’s a good thing likely depends on your own values and politics. And so, Elon Musk took over Twitter out of concern that this censorship is undermining free speech, which is the basis of democracy, and to ensure a level playing field. So, could the launch of Threads begin to divide audiences across the two platforms — essentially the right choosing Twitter and the left choosing Threads? Will Threads’ advantage of being a part of the Meta suite, along with Facebook and Instagram, win more favor with users and brands alike? Or will Twitter’s might and perceived objectivity allow it to hold position as the hub of heated debate? Time will tell.”

Related: Putting the ‘Social’ Back in Social Media

As Threads is still very much in its infancy — just two weeks old at the time of this article being written — and given the direct linkage and deletion policies, to name just a few of the concerns I have, I am going to take a cautious approach to this. I want to see how it performs and what the behavior pattern is of those who are active on it before I recommend it to others.

My “inside circle” of trusted professionals agrees. “While some brands are jumping into Threads feet first to take advantage of the increased share of voice, for many, I believe the tried-and-true principles of testing and measuring apply — they should secure their space, feel into the fit of this new dynamic with their existing strategy, test the waters, see how it evolves, and decide what investment this new social channel truly deserves in the marketing mix,” says Blennerhassett.

So, now’s the time to gauge what you and your company do next. The typical recommendation is to secure brand handles early for consistency, but once you’re in, can you afford to sit idly on the sidelines or will you need to be active? “The Threads app isn’t going to be a ‘one-post-per-day’ kind of social media platform, it’s going to be a thriving hub of activity,” notes Alicia Penherwood in an article running on the website Smart Company. Budgeting for this effort and monitoring the effort is critical.

Bottom line? Proceed with caution and pay close attention to what you and/or your company are agreeing to. Jumping into the swimming pool simply because it’s open may not be the best bet. Make sure you know how to swim first.

Want to discuss this more? Drop me a line at [email protected] and let’s chat!