Wednesday, July 5, marks a day in social media history. Meta has not-so-quietly launched its long-awaited Twitter clone, Threads. Mark Zuckerberg affirmed via his Threads account before the end of the first day that 10 million users had signed up.
He later Tweeted that 30 million had signed up by the morning of July 6.
It’s easy to see why millions signed up rapidly to try Threads:
- Tight integration with Instagram accounts.
- A slick launch with an “early entry cheat code.” By searching “Threads” on Instagram, you’d find a ticket emoji that granted early access. A public-facing countdown clock at Threads.net
- Buzz, buzz, buzz! Last week, news outlets widely reported the launch would be this month. Then, they reported a specific launch date of July 15. Over the holiday weekend, that moved up to July 6. On July 5, Meta just let in the droves.
The Instagram connection makes signing up for Threads nearly frictionless:
- Getting followers couldn’t be easier. Threads users can automatically follow their Instagram connections.
- There’s also no need to create a new bio, as Threads automatically imports your Instagram bio.
- Threads integrates so seamlessly with Instagram that you can share your Threads posts to your Instagram Stories or feed in just two clicks, a smart move from Meta that no doubt drove more eyeballs from Instagram to Threads.
- As a bonus, you can easily share your Threads profile link to other social media platforms—like Twitter.
Is Now the Time for B2B Brands to Jump Aboard?
The Threads launch reinforces that creating an Instagram profile is worth considering if your B2B brand isn’t already on the platform. But how is Leadtail recommending brands respond to this (very successful) Threads launch?
“As always with things that are brand new or with big changes, let’s give it a moment,” says co-founder and CEO Carter Hostelley. “I think it could be a good opportunity, especially for those clients already active on Instagram. This is another argument in favor of prioritizing Instagram—even if you’re not a fan of Facebook.”
Threads Vibe Check
The mood on the Threads app is similar to the early days of Twitter and Facebook. People are jumping on to share random thoughts, make jokes, and talk about whatever they want. It’s upbeat, friendly, and—wait for it—social.
Some platforms that have attempted to compete with Twitter emphasized ideological stances. Others—like Post or Counter Social—focused on news. Apps like Clubhouse tried to “Twitterize” audio broadcasts.
Threads takes a different approach. It occupies the mainstream pop culture ground Twitter once dominated. This is clear early on as brands like Lyft and Wendy’s jumped on the app and immediately get the vibe.
Familiar, But Different
Threads is a Twitter-like app, so it offers the familiar feeling of Tweeting. But it doesn’t have all the same features or capabilities. Let’s take stock of the Threads experience at launch.
- Your followers are already there, and they’re people you know. You can search for accounts to follow and follow Thread accounts you come across in the public feed.
- Speaking of the public feed, that’s the only way to view Threads. There’s no separate feed with just the accounts you follow. The Threads algorithm gives you a mix of your follows alongside other Threads it thinks may interest you.
- You get up to 500 characters per post.
- You can post up to 5 minutes of video.
- You can include links in your posts.
- Posts can include multiple photos, so if you want to post seven photos of your cat, go for it! (A hot early trend is making your first Thread a picture of your pet.)
- The in-app experience is positive, partially thanks to the lack of DMs, hashtags, and other features sometimes exploited by bad actors on Twitter.
- Most users are interacting socially rather than trying to write “the next great thread” or self-promote.
- Threads is currently a phone-only app.Threads.net exists, but users can’t log in to post or view content. The site does feature a cool interactive animation.
- There is a search function to help you find accounts—and nothing else.
- There is no edit button.
- There are no lists or communities, and nothing can be scheduled on the app.
- There’s no Sprout, Hootsuite, Meta Business Suite, or other social media enablement app integration—yet.
- To post a GIF, users must download it to their phone and then upload it to Threads.
- Users with large Instagram followings will have the potential to build up Threads followers quickly.
- You will receive a “join number” that doesn’t show inside the Threads app. You can find it under your Instagram profile image.
- You will potentially receive a lot of notifications from Threads as more people join the platform and begin following you.
- Threads has launched without analytics capabilities.
Where Does B2B Social Fit Into Threads?
To get started with Threads, your brand needs to have an existing Instagram profile. But being ready for Threads doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your B2B brand yet. For example, it’s currently unavailable in the EU due to privacy laws. At this early stage, we don’t have enough data to know if Threads will be a good investment for B2B brands—hence our wait-and-see approach.
There are also questions about accessibility within the app, as pointed out by Alexa Heinrich of Accessible Social. She points out that no in-app captioning functionality or an alt-text feature for images exists.
The first 24 hours of Threads gave us a wild ride and brought many users back to 2006, when social was largely fun, live, and addictive. Meta seems able to handle 30 million new users in less than 24 hours—something many Twitter alternatives cannot promise. Time will tell what updates the app will push and when.
We’ll be watching closely. Stay tuned.
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