Introducing Threads: Meta's New Way to Share with Text
Yesterday, Meta launched Threads, a new app built by Instagram for sharing text updates and joining in on real-time public conversation.
Threads is a new app accessed via your Instagram login that provides a surface for real-time, text-based conversation. Meta's vision for Threads is "to take what Instagram does best and expand that to text, creating a positive and creative space to express your ideas." Launching yesterday, Threads garnered more than 10 million users in the first 10 hours. The app provides a seamless login experience and an easy way to sync followers between Instagram and Threads. Threads is available in 100 countries globally; however, not operating in the EU yet due to privacy concerns.
Threads comes on the heels of massive user and advertiser declines from Twitter. After months of turbulence following Elon Musk's acquisition - centered heavily around platform stability, brand safety, and hate speech, Meta saw an opportunity to fill the space where real-time conversation happens.
In order to maintain a positive space, Threads is giving users the ability to control who can mention you or reply to you. In addition, users have the ability to block specific words. The app will enforce Instagram's community guidelines and leverage Meta's integrity and safety efforts.
Meta has also committed to making Threads compatible with other apps that support the ActivityPub protocol. The ActivityPub protocol is a decentralized social networking protocol based upon the [ActivityStreams] 2.0 data format. It provides a client-to-server API for creating, updating, and deleting content, as well as a federated server-to-server API for delivering notifications and content. Following this protocol will allow users to export their content and leave Threads at any moment—creating a more open web. This will allow developers to build new features that can plug into the app and accelerate the pace of innovation.
Within the first hour, Wendy's was among the first brands to join the app. Simply joining the network with their first Thread saying: "Cheeseburgers." We have also seen brands like Amazon Prime, Netflix and publishers like Complex take notice and begin posting. While there are no advertising or monetization opportunities yet, Threads offers an interesting playground for early organic content testing and learning.
A space for real-time conversation is pivotal for brands and advertisers who want to take advantage of the cultural zeitgeist. By leveraging the Instagram user base and Meta algorithm, Threads has the opportunity to provide a scaled approach extremely quickly. We are excited to see how the app continues to grow and change—however, a few key features will be necessary to improve the experience for app users.
A few areas we would like to see feature updates would be the ability to create follower lists, order your timeline chronologically, and separate out recommended content versus follower content. In addition, when it comes to advertising, adjacency and topic controls will need to be table stakes to provide the safest advertiser experience. When it comes to brands joining in on the conversation, we recommend a test-and-learn approach. Threads offers an opportunity to showcase a brand's personality and build a unique voice. Testing content strategies early may set the stage for a high-performing paid program when advertising opportunities arise.
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With all new networks, it will take time for users to adopt and engage, and rapid feature development will be key in creating the stickiest experience.
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4 MINUTES READ | May 5, 2023