Last week Threads, the text-based Instagram app taking on Twitter, went live. Several Twitter competitors have emerged in the last few years (Mastodon, Gab, Bluesky, Truth Social), but Threads may be the first viable alternative, with millions of sign-ups in the first few hours.
Social media platform exhaustion is real, and adding another one to your personal or your company's online presence can be overwhelming. To help you make that decision, here are our initial impressions and findings:
You have to log in with an Instagram account, so if you don't have one, you'll need to sign up before you can use Threads.
A big thing to consider is that you cannot delete a Threads account without deleting your entire Instagram account. You can deactivate it so your Threads profile is no longer visible, but at this point you can't delete it because it's part of your Instagram account.
Threads is entirely app-based, so you can't access it via browser.
Right now, Threads is ad-free. Adam Mosseri, Instagram's head, recently gave an interview that said while they would like to monetize it in the future, their focus is on creating a platform that users actually want to use first and then considering how to monetize it if it’s successful.
The content filters . . . let's just say they are still a work in progress.
The character limit is 500 characters, which is amazing. Twitter still offers only 280 characters to their standard users (10,000 for Twitter Blue users).
The interface is exactly what you would expect from an app that is basically “Imagine if Instagram was Twitter,” which makes it incredibly user friendly, because it uses things you’re entirely familiar with if you’ve ever used either app.
Posts are called Threads (better than Bluesky, which calls them “skeets”), which makes total sense, but it’s oddly dull in a world of skeets, tweets, and plurks.
Should your business be on Threads?
If your brand isn’t currently using Twitter, it probably won’t get any benefit from Threads.
We're not sure who Threads is for, unlike some of the other apps where it’s been clear to tell the intended audience is. This might also be why they’re hesitant to monetize it at the jump – they have no clue how to present a value proposition to people who would be spending money on ads.
If you can't run ads, is there a benefit to using Threads for audience engagement and content marketing? Here's a testimonial from a Threads user that conveys why that might make sense.
There's something oddly soothing about an ad-free platform. Obviously, the presence of brands means that brands are still trying to market to me, but it’s all organic attempts to reach users which at least feels more genuine. (ex. Vital Proteins posted “Be honest…do you even know what collagen does?” and it’s very clearly a ploy at engagement, but I laughed because it’s at least relatable and not someone spending $2 for my click to feel relatable, and I am saying this as someone who genuinely enjoys digital marketing).
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