Meta launched its new Twitter-like social media network, Threads, this week and the digital media world is buzzing about the implications and potential. Meta is reporting more than 30 million users already. We asked the experts on Butler/Till’s social media team for their thoughts on this new entrant into their space.
What kind of social property is Threads? How would you describe it to someone who doesn’t work in digital media?
We’ll let Meta describe it themselves: Threads is, “a new app, built by the Instagram team, for sharing text updates and joining public conversations.” * The operative phrase there is “public conversations,” which makes it different from a lot of other social platforms.
Given the huge adoption of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, why do you think Meta would launch a product like this right now?
As Meta’s applications evolve, users and product advancements are naturally starting to dictate a niche use for each app. Facebook has become a means to keep up with friends and family, Instagram for aesthetically pleasing photo and video content, and WhatsApp for direct communication. It’s no surprise that they’re using their resources to create a text-based conversations app, given they’ve seen other social platforms success.
Some people have been referring to Threads as a Twitter-killer? Do you see it that way? Why or why not?
It certainly seems that way. Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, has publicly stated that the volatility and unpredictability under Elon Musk’s leadership at Twitter has provided an opening for Meta to compete.* This is super timely, as Twitter’s users have been unhappy with recent changes on the app – pay/subscribe to become a verified user and recently limiting how many tweets users could see in a day.
The adoption of Threads so far seems to be very fast. Any thoughts on why this would be?
Meta’s social reputation and hold of the social media marketplace has garnered them the interest of millions. It’s likely a mix of Meta’s market share of the social space, an interest in a potential Twitter replacement, and a general curiosity about the next big app. We typically see a quick adoption to new platforms in the marketplace, especially when they’re owned by known brands. We will see if the daily activity will continue rising, but all the pieces are in place for Threads to continue to scale quickly.
So far, Threads is not accepting any paid advertising. Why do you think this is, and when do you expect it might change?
Often, we see new social platforms omit advertising at launch as it grows a user base and Threads is no different. Meta has been very forthcoming about the fact that they want this app to be different. Mosseri has commented via Threads about the desire to make the app a positive and engaging community. They’ve made the app basic in nature to start, with no keyword search features, hashtags or direct messaging. According to the Guardian, Meta does not plan to incorporate ads for at least this year. ****
Given the lack of advertising, how would you advise brands to engage with Threads right now?
Right now, we’d recommend that brands engage in organic conversation. With all the buzz on the app in its early stages, it’s a great opportunity to engage in meaningful and relevant conversation with a target audience. It’s a good time to be an early adopter, expand reach, and gain trust. Many brands adapted quickly and were on the app within the first 24 hours with infinite puns and meme’s that relate to their brand and playing off a new social platform that’s disrupting the space right now.
What do you think the future holds for this new channel? Will it be a lasting contender? What impact will it have on Twitter and other social channels in the medium to long term?
Senior Social Specialist, Liz Fehrman, bets that Twitter will be coming out with a new feature soon, aiming to outshine the Threads app, and that Meta will add Threads to its business manager as a placement for ads by the end of year. The latter excites Senior Social Specialist Tyler Plaza, who sees this as an opportunity to grow Butler/Till’s already robust Meta media plans. He notes that Meta has proven the ability to pull users from other social platforms into their ecosystem. If ads are incorporated, we’d see greater opportunity to reach our target audiences with more cost effective KPIs.
What does the future hold for Threads? While we can’t predict the future, Butler/Till is committed to staying at the forefront of this major Meta update. To learn more, connect with our social experts today!
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