Threads, the new text-based social app by Meta, took the social media world by storm when it launched in early July. With over 100 million users joining after the initial launch, it seemed like Threads was seeking to overtake its rival, Twitter.
Now that the dust has settled, brands are left wondering what their Threads strategy should be, if they should invest time and effort into the app, and how they can stand out from their competitors.
What is the Threads App?
Threads is a new app built by Instagram that is very similar to Twitter. It’s text-based, has a 500 word count for each post, and, as you might expect by the name, allows for replies that create a thread.
Users can use their Instagram account to sign up for Threads and seamlessly follow all accounts that they were already following on Instagram, which contributed to Threads becoming the most rapidly downloaded app with more than 30 million downloads in just 16 hours.
How to Use Instagram Threads App
Joining Threads is incredibly simple, thanks to its integration with Instagram:
- Download the Threads app from the app store.
- Log in with your Instagram account.
- Edit your profile (make your account public or private, change your bio, etc.)
- Make your first post!
Pros of Joining Instagram Threads
Instantly Large Following
One of the main features of Threads is that you can automatically follow all accounts on Threads that you already do on Instagram.
Henninger notes, “Brands with large followings on Instagram instantly have larger followings on Threads, as most users sign up and select to follow all accounts that they were following on Instagram.”
This is a huge benefit for brands if you already have an engaged follower base on Instagram. Threads is another way for you to engage with them and continue building that relationship!
Increased Views and Engagement
“With any new app, there is a lot of opportunity for views and engagement,” says Henninger. “As platforms age, algorithms tend to shift priorities and often brand’s engagement gets put behind a paywall of needing to boost for reach.”
Take advantage of this time to boost your account’s views and engagement before changes are made to the app. Building an engaged and dedicated following on the app now will only benefit you in the future.
No Need for Content
Unlike Instagram and TikTok, Threads isn’t a content-based platform, so you don’t need to invest in additional creative photos, GIFs, or videos for the platform. You can easily create conversations and posts without imagery, which makes it a less time-consuming platform to engage on currently.
Cons of Joining Instagram Threads App
Additional Platform to Manage
One of the main challenges of Threads for brands, content creators, and social media managers is that it’s another social channel to manage — which takes additional bandwidth to create content for. Even though you don’t need to develop new creative for the platform, you still have to ideate text-based content to post that aligns with your brand.
“I don’t recommend just recycling your Instagram content, since people will likely be following you on both platforms,” says Henninger. Instead, she suggests differentiating your content on the Instagram Threads app by creating a conversation with your followers.
No Scheduling or Reporting Capabilities
Another challenge of Threads is that there are currently no scheduling or reporting capabilities in the platform, so it’s difficult if not impossible to understand performance. Of course, you can calculate a rough engagement percentage based on your follower count and likes/replies, but it’s not as comprehensive as more well-established apps.
Potentially Low Engagement
Henninger cautions that Threads might not be an app with high engagement now or in the future. “Historically, brands have not seen tons of engagement on text-focused social channels like Twitter, so after the buzz dies down, there may not be a ton of engagement coming in for brands.”
No Hashtags or Direct Messages
Unlike its direct competitor, Twitter, Threads doesn’t have the capability to see hashtags or overall trending topics outside of your following feed. Because of that, Henninger notes, “Twitter may still be the place to see aggregated information and commentary on trending topics.”
Additionally, Threads does not currently have a direct message capability, which eliminates the ability for private communication surrounding customer service concerns.
The Future of Instagram Threads App
Despite the initial hype around the launch, according to MarketWatch, Threads is seeing 25% fewer daily active users than it did during its launch, and time spent on the app has decreased to just five minutes a day.
This could mean the excitement will continue to fizzle out, with users opting to spend time on other apps. However, based on the integration with Instagram, it may perform better for brands than Twitter over time. Only time will tell!
Henninger believes that Threads will become an app to build community and create conversations with followers. She also notes that Threads can act as a customer service resource that is more seamless because it’s text based. Interacting with customers here can be easier than on Instagram.