Threads quietly became one of the most quickly adopted platforms in history, faster than ChatGPT and you know, because this is not written, that’s like with two exclamation marks. And it joins the supposed ever-growing list of Twitter killers like Macedon and Blue Sky. It didn’t really make the rounds so much in the Philippines because unlike in the US, Twitter actually has a measly 9.5 million active users in the country.
And that’s nothing compared to Facebook’s 74 million users or Instagram’s 19 million. And yes, I don’t live under a rock. I know Twitter is now X, but I’ll call it Twitter because most people who listen to this may not necessarily know that.
What is Threads?
Berns San Juan: So I’ll start off by saying Threads is built on top of Instagram. So it’s there for sharing text updates and for joining public conversations. So I guess like Twitter or X, like Twitter, it is sort of like a public town hall. It was launched on the 5th of July and it was set up as a rival to Twitter. Threads is built on top of Instagram which I mentioned earlier and it automatically linked a user’s account on the photo sharing app.
So it sort of made it easy to adopt Threads because you sort of didn’t have to build your community from scratch. Whatever community you already had on Instagram could automatically become your community on threads. Users can post text-based messages or threads that are limited to 500 characters.
Each includes links, photos, videos, and threads that appear in a scrolling feed where users have the ability to engage and react like users can like, they can reply and repost other threads.. So one of the things that I think is all too easy to say is that threads are Twitter on Meta.
But it’s not or at least not yet. It will use your existing network so you don’t have to build your community from scratch, but it doesn’t have direct messaging, it doesn’t have trending topics, the now infamous blue checkmark, or the equally controversial live rooms or, you know, Twitter spaces.
So Meta launched Threads in the wake of, you know, another turbulent period on Twitter, which currently imposes tweet viewing limits, which, you know, by the way, I like that move by X or by Twitter because 600 tweets a day is a lot of tweets. Like you got nothing better, you got nothing else better to do. Meta described Threads as a new separate space for real-time conversations. What it tries to do is to take what Instagram does best and expand that to text. Ideally, it creates a more positive and creative space to express your ideas.
So for many of you that I think are on social media, I think what you’ll realize is, I would say Instagram is the more friendly, less polarizing version of all of these social media applications. Threads did draw more than 30 million sign-ups in less than a day. It revealed that more than 10 million users signed up within the first seven hours. And partially that’s because they could push notify Instagram users that threads were available. They could push the notification over to the people inside Instagram.
Twitter has a global user base of about 250 million and Instagram has roughly about 2 billion monthly active users. So the ability to adopt Threads is tremendous. If I’m not mistaken, as of the time of recording this podcast, Threads is available in like a hundred countries on both the App Store and the Google App Store.
So the adoption is a little slower in the EU. I think all credit to them. They are a bit more stringent when it comes to their internet laws. So the adoption will not be happening as quickly there.
How does Threads work?
Essentially, Threads users will need an Instagram account to log in. Once they’ve signed up, they can choose to follow the same accounts. They follow on Instagram. If they too have joined the new app, they will be able to find the community. They will be able to find their Instagram community on Threads. Meta notes that UK users younger than 18 will default to a private profile.
Its feed can include posts from people and accounts that you follow on Instagram if they’re already on Threads. Posts on threads are 500 characters long. You have the ability to filter for specific ideas or words or like search inside Threads. You also have the ability to restrict who is allowed to mention you on Threads. I think that’s also a good thing.
Hashtags are not enabled on Threads. So you’re not going to find the same way you find trending social media topics on Twitter also on Threads. It’s free to use and available to download. So if you’ve got Instagram, it’s easy to install it on top of Instagram.
Adoption of Threads
Now let’s talk about the adoption of Threads. I think part of the reason Threads found it so easy is again because it’s built on top of Instagram. For many of the people I think don’t understand it, I think a lot of people think Meta built Threads independently. In reality, they didn’t. It was the Instagram developers. It was the Instagram team that developed Threads. The fact that Instagram’s user base is so huge allowed them to acquire about a million online users in the first hour after launch. Like that’s crazy. ChatGPT took five days to get a million users. Instagram took two and a half months to get a million users. So Facebook took almost a year to get a million users. So Threads’ adoption is crazy.
Will X Survive its Biggest Threat Yet?
I don’t think you can go up against Twitter or X or whatever you like to call it without creating some controversy. And you know there is a bit of controversy around the launch of Threads. So since then, you can imagine Elon has not been very happy. Aside from your standard lawsuit, he has also challenged Mark Zuckerberg to a cage match. In the lawsuit he filed, he alleges that Meta had inappropriately appropriated Twitter technology.
To a degree, he’s basing that on the fact that some of the Twitter engineers were actually hired by Meta. But I think it’s important for everybody to understand that none of the former Twitter engineers are on the Instagram team. And so Threads has been a project that’s been a long time coming.
How Brands Should Utilize Threads?
Now, let’s stop talking about X, let’s stop talking about Threads, and let’s talk about you. In order for your business to know whether or not Threads should be part of the channels of your consideration, you have to look at more than just the adoption rate. I mean an app that gets a million users in the first hour of its launch sounds terrific.
But let’s geek out a bit here and assume that the trend in the Philippines is the same as the trend of adoption globally. That means the adoption rate for Threads is about 10% of all users. So at best, you’re looking at an audience of less than 2 million because there are 1.9 million users of Instagram. So you also have to look at the monetization plan. I think Mark Zuckerberg got asked this, like in terms of what are the plans to monetize Threads. And right now threads aren’t available as an advertising platform.
Yes, you can take your existing community on Instagram, especially if you are an Instagram influencer, and bring that with you to Threads. But that’s sort of about it. In that statement that Mark Zuckerberg made, he said that Meta is not contemplating how to monetize threads until they reach a billion users. By the way, that’s a bold statement. Twitter’s been around for the better part of a decade and they always dance around the 300 million active user line.
So how should brands utilize Threads? So Meta is planning to roll out what’s called “branded content tools” for advertisers while still holding off on the traditional advertising models such as targeting specific audiences, boosting posts, and whatnot. These tools will allow marketers to pay influencers to post sponsored content on threads, so the same way that we would do influencer marketing, similar to how it’s done on Instagram.
Meta will require posts though, for the sake of transparency, to be clearly labeled as in paid partnership with. And so this is so that they’re clear when a user is looking at sponsored content on the platform. So that’s about it. The way to utilize Threads is if there are enough adopters and if it’s a viable channel for you and you know that your audience is in it, the way to approach marketing on Threads would be the same way you would do influencer, the same approach you do to influencer marketing on Facebook, on Instagram, and whatnot.
And that’s about a wrap for this episode of the Truelogic DX podcast. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope the info we brought you today was news. And if you like our content, follow us on Facebook or smash the like and subscribe button on YouTube. We’re not on Instagram, so don’t look for us there or on Threads just yet.
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