If you haven’t downloaded it, you will likely have heard about the new social media phenomenon. Threads has become the fastest-growing social media platform in history since its launch on 5th July. The app saw 5 million sign-ups in the first hour of launching and it’s proving to be a breath of fresh air for text-based marketing, as Twitter saw a 59% drop in ad spend, following Elon Musk’s takeover last year.
Let’s look at how Threads is proving beneficial to marketers from every sector and what you need to know to utilise it for your own business.
What is Threads?
Owned and operated by Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta Platforms, Threads is a brand-new text-based social networking app currently available on iOS and Android. Like Twitter, it allows users to post updates, share texts within 500 words, images, and video content no longer than 5 minutes and interact with other users’ posts via likes, reposts, and replies.
Its direct link to Instagram means that you’re unable to sign up for a Threads account without first opening an Instagram account. The reasoning behind this is to expand Instagram’s reach into positive and creative text-based content and a way to create an ecosystem of interoperable services where people can find community no matter which app they use.
How Does It Work?
As mentioned previously, you must have an Instagram account before downloading the Threads app, as you will need the same login details for Meta to track you across the apps. Once logged in it will ask you if you would like to follow the same accounts that you follow on Instagram, and it will also suggest other profiles to follow based on your interests. Once the initial set-up is complete, your feed will fill with a combination of posts from people you follow as well as recommended content.
As with the other social media apps in the Meta network, Threads will collect information about its users and store details to target content toward you. Information such as health and fitness, location, search history, photos, financial information, and email address are examples of the sensitive information collected alongside storing data on how its users interact with posts and people they follow.
Brands and Celebrities Using the Platform.
More than 100 million people, including some big celebrity names and brands, have signed up for Threads since its launch. American retailers such as Walmart and Kroger have jumped on the bandwagon and seen the potential in Threads’ marketing ability, as well as Uniqlo, Calvin Klein, and Shein. Among the celebrities signing up are Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, and Oprah.
Will Threads Replace Twitter?
Web analytics company SimilarWeb reported that during Threads’ first 2 days of operation, Twitter traffic was down 5% in comparison to the same period a week earlier and 11% down compared to the same period last year. It certainly seems like Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has created a Twitter alternative in Threads and has stated that he thinks it will be bigger than Twitter.
What Benefits Can Threads Provide for Digital Marketing?
Businesses can benefit by gaining a good amount of organic traffic through Threads, building their profiles and engagement on the platform will stand companies in good stead until paid advertisements become available. At the moment paid ads don’t exist but the prospect is inevitable as ads are a big source of revenue in social media. Until ads become available, the direct link to Instagram will be the biggest tool in building an audience, as followers can move directly across, reducing the struggles of starting from scratch.
Some Cautions to be Mindful of
There are some concerns at present around the Threads privacy operations that don’t comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act, which is why it is currently not available in the EU. There are a few concerns around Meta’s business model, including targeted ads which are essentially surveillance advertising. Meta is accused of trying to collect as much data as possible including sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, biometric data, trade union membership, pregnancy status, politics, and religious beliefs which can all potentially be sent to third parties. Due to this, there are no plans at present to roll Threads out to EU countries.
However, Meta has stated that safety remains its top priority and has invested more than $16 billion into protecting the people that use its platforms since 2016, but there are still some concerns about safety for younger users. Threads are enforcing Instagram’s Community Guidelines on content and interactions which means that a user must be at least 13 or older and users under the age of 16 (18 in some countries) will get a private account by default. In addition, any accounts that were blocked on Instagram will automatically be blocked on threads and users have the option of filtering their settings giving them control over who can reply to them on the platform.
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