Social media users across the United States were surprised on Wednesday, July 5 when Meta launched their long-awaited Threads platform. Immediately, millions of people downloaded and logged into the platform dubbed “The Twitter Killer,” to explore, learn and start leveraging the platform.
Our Martin Waymire team was no different. After a week of our team learning about and posting on the new platform personally, this platform overview will help you understand and make plans for potentially adding Threads to your social media strategy.
How Threads works
Logging into the platform, you may think, ‘this looks a lot like Twitter.’ The home feed of Threads includes many of the aesthetics and features that you’re used to seeing on Twitter – posts with short copy, images and videos.
Options to interact with these posts include likes, replies, repost (like retweet), quote (like retweet with a caption) and share. Individual replies or “threads” allow users to dig deeper into conversations started from original posts.
With profiles either individually built or copied from a person or brand’s Instagram profile, you can create and post text, image or video content, much like your previous Twitter experience.
As a brand new platform, some features may be added as Meta assesses the popularity and growth of the platform. Here are a few things that you won’t see from Twitter’s twin, but may see in the future:
- Hashtags: Not activated yet, hashtags are not linked/clickable, as they are on other platforms. This makes tracking and participating in topics more difficult than it is on platforms like Twitter and Instagram.
- Trending topics: In the past two weeks, the biggest trending topic on Threads was users discovering what Threads even is. Moving forward, with more users and content, Meta may build in the real-time discussion features such as trending conversations that made Twitter so popular.
- Demographics: If you’re looking for audience information for Threads, you may not find it. While analytics or demographics are not yet available to users, the platform has grown to over 100 million users within a week, with user information available will be out-of-date by the next day anyway.
- Accessibility: In social media and in marketing in general, creating an accessible user experience across platforms is critical. Currently in Threads, features like custom captions, alt text and desktop access put the platform behind the standard for creating a social platform usable for all.
- Scheduling and Listening: Tools like Sprout Social, Sprinklr and Hootsuite, which make your social strategy and planning more efficient and organized, don’t yet support Threads. Without the ability to schedule out or listen to audience conversations, that means any posting or tapping into conversations must be done manually.
What the future of Threads looks like
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has already noted that paid opportunities on the platform will become available once Threads has a clear path for 1 billion users. Additionally, our team is looking for the platform to make updates to provide hashtags, trending conversations, analytics, accessibility features like alt text, and advanced search/recommendations to connect users with brand profiles.
As all platforms do, growth in popularity often means additional features for users, influencers and brands, and more data to drive best practices in your strategy and potential paid efforts.
How Threads can fit into your social strategy
Ten years ago, the social media world boomed with the addition of Snapchat and Instagram to brands’ ongoing strategies. Platforms grew, content stretched and many embraced a copy-and-paste mentality to save time and sanity.
Nowadays, the best social media strategies ensure that users on each platform are provided a unique experience that matches how each social media platform is used by audiences.
For organizations looking at Threads as a possible platform to expand on, ask yourself these questions:
- Is my audience on this platform? You won’t have empirical evidence of this with Threads just yet, but expect it in the coming months.
- Does the additional effort of this platform help serve broader social and organizational goals? As with every platform or communication vehicle, not every tool is a fit for your organization. Focus resources on the platforms and channels most likely to meet your needs.
- Do I have capacity to create content for this new platform? Adding a new channel to your strategy can stretch your team’s creative bandwidth. Ensure additional resources used to leverage Threads doesn’t lower the value of content provided on different platforms.
- Can I create a personalized experience for the features and how users want to use Threads? Users seek valuable content on all platforms, and creating a customized platform strategy will elevate the user experience on Threads and all platforms.
A new social media platform can be an opportunity to reach new audiences, foster more conversations and humanize your brand. If you have questions about how Threads or other social media profiles might fit within your strategy, Martin Waymire is here to help you navigate the best approach for meeting your goals.