WTF is Threads And How Do I Use It?!

Threads set the record for the fastest-growing app to reach the 100 million mark. It took just 5 days. For context, the previous app to hold the title was ChatGPT, which achieved 100 million users in 2 months. Kinda pales in comparison, right? 



July 28, 2023

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Everyone is talking about Threads. And who can blame them? With the catastrophic decisions Elon Musk has been making over at Twitter, we’re not surprised that people are welcoming an alternative (hello new branding, we’re looking at you). 

Threads set the record for the fastest-growing app to reach the 100 million mark. It took just 5 days. For context, the previous app to hold the title was ChatGPT, which achieved 100 million users in 2 months. Kinda pales in comparison, right? 

Clearly, things have been moving fast. The next challenge for Meta is to maintain that engagement and build on it. In this article, we answer your burning questions. 

What is Threads? Why is Meta competing with Twitter in the first place? How do the two apps compare? How can marketers make the most of Threads?

First things first. To understand Threads, we need to take a step back and look at what’s been happening over on Twitter. 

What’s the deal with Twitter? 

Elon Musk took over Twitter in October 2022, and it has not been a smooth ride. In the good old days, that coveted blue tick was for accounts deemed authentic, notable and active. With the introduction of Twitter Blue, users can pay for verification. For just $8 per month, any user can be verified. As a result, trust in the platform has plummeted. You might remember a brief phase of hilarious but troubling impersonations of public figures

And that’s not all. Insider Intelligence predicted that ad spend on the platform will fall by around 28%, partly because advertisers do not trust Elon Musk. 

Earlier this month, Mr Musk introduced a change that felt like the nail in the coffin: daily limits on viewable tweets. Verified posts can view 10,000 tweets per day whilst unverified accounts can view 1,000 tweets. New accounts joining after the update can view 500 tweets per day. When you get hit with that ‘rate limit exceeded’ notification at the top of your feed, it’s a real buzz kill. Some users have noted that the free version of the app is becoming less and less usable.  

Long story short, Musk has not been popular with Twitter users - and Mark Zuckerberg has been paying attention. That’s where Threads comes in. 

What is Threads? 

Meta launched Threads earlier in July as a new way to share with text’. Built by the Instagram team, Threads is for ‘sharing updates and joining public conversations’. Sound familiar? 

Posts can be up to 500 characters long. They can also include links, photos and videos up to 5 minutes in length. Meta emphasised that Threads will be a space for real-time updates. The app offers a conversation-based approach, aiming to foster light conversation and discussion of ideas. 

The layout is familiar. In the Feed, you can view posts from people you follow and engage in discussions in real-time. Think of it as a sort of Twitter/instant messaging combo. The app draws on Instagram’s recognisable aesthetic. Navigating Threads is easy to get the hang of. 

Who can use Threads? 

At the moment, you have to be on Instagram to use Threads. You can join using Threads your Instagram login - your details will carry over. Import your Instagram followers to your Threads account to build a strong network straight away. We recommend exploring relevant topics and hashtags to build connections. Making the most of your pre-existing audience is key to growing your brand on Threads. 

This smooth connection with Instagram is a huge selling point. And the benefits of this perfect pairing don’t end there. The connection between Insta and Threads makes the two more compatible than Instagram and Twitter ever were. Posts on Threads are easily shareable to Instagram stories, something that Twitter always lacked. So what else sets these rival apps apart?

How is Threads different from Twitter? 

Threads and Twitter are very similar - so similar that Elon Musk has launched legal action. But there are some key differences. 

First things first - ease. As mentioned above, Threads and Insta are compatible in a way that Twitter never was. We wonder if this closeness will lend Threads a casual air where Twitter is that bit more serious. That leads us to a key difference in ethos. 

We’re getting the sense that creators at Meta want Threads to be more chill than Twitter. The focus is on ‘positive, productive conversations’. This feels like a dig at the sometimes argumentative nature of conversations over on Twitter. Instagram boss Adam Mosseri stated that the new app is less about politics and hard news, and more about building a positive vibrant community.

Mosserri said: ‘The goal isn’t to replace Twitter. The goal is to create a public square for communities on Instagram that never really embraced Twitter and for communities on Twitter (and other platforms) that are interested in a less angry place for conversations, but not all of Twitter.’

For some people, this might take the fun out of it. We all know someone that loves a Twitter rant, right? Perhaps these two apps can exist side by side. Time will tell. One thing is for sure: this focus on light and casual presents a big opportunity for marketers. 

How can marketers make the most of Threads?

Right now, Threads is in its infancy. As an app, it has a lot of growing to do. This presents a unique opportunity for businesses to build a following early on, whilst there’s less competition. Getting established at this early stage is a huge bonus: fewer users = more engagement and more discoverability. Consider this the ‘early adopter effect’. Plus, with Threads’ emphasis on light and casual, you can connect with users on a more personal level. 

Threads launched with zero ads. Zuckerberg has said he’s not thinking about monetisation until the app hits one billion users. This app is the perfect space for casual connection, rather than the hard sell. 

Establishing a light, personal voice on the app could bridge a gap in your marketing strategy. The smooth transfer of Instagram followers means you have immediate access to your existing audience in a new format. That is a golden opportunity. To make the most of it, check out our Ultimate Threads Success Bundle

Imagine having a solid, algorithm-proof content strategy when Twitter or Instagram were taking off. By now, your business would be thriving on the app. You have that opportunity on Threads right now. Act fast, and you could secure a loyal and consistent following that converts easily. 

Our team of social media experts have all the tips you need to develop a Threads content strategy as unique as your business. 

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