With all the upheaval on Twitter, it was only a matter of time before Meta stepped in to compete with all the other apps that are jostling for a foothold.
Threads launched on Wednesday, July 5, as a direct rival to Twitter, and had more than 30 million people sign up in the first day.
There are lots of people talking about pros and cons of Threads, but we want to share a few thoughts on its possible use by businesses.
Threads is mobile-only
While Instagram is mostly-mobile, it does have some usability on desktop; if you like to keep your work off of your cell phone, Threads may make that difficult, at least to start.
Threads offers (a little) more space
Threads are limited to 500 characters (versus 280 on Twitter, or 140 prior to 2017). This still requires you to keep things pithy (this paragraph is exactly 500 characters), but allows more space for detail. If you are going into details on a new product or service, this might be really useful. However, there are a lot of benefits to Twitter’s terseness (and there was criticism when Twitter expanded to 280 characters). Whether this makes Thread less “conversational” than Twitter, time will tell.
Threads is Not Chronological
Users see posts by people/hashtags they follow, as well as recommended content. There is no option for chronological view, and as always, we can expect Meta’s algorithm to be a black box. This has potential upsides for small businesses; if you are able to engage consistently on the new app, there is the potential to reach a lot of new customers. On the other hand, it will likely take a lot of time to build those connections (this is also true on Twitter—and any Social Media app, for that matter).
We are seeing reports of users attempting to proliferate their feeds with other users, only to have their feeds dominated by verified/sponsored brand content – which is likely not at all the experience you’d like to have on a brand new social media platform.
Threads is Banned in the EU (For Now)
The European Union has much more stringent digital security laws than the US, and Threads at this point is not available in EU countries. This presents an obvious concern to anyone considering the app and doing business in Europe. It is also a potential red flag to US customers—it may also make outsourcing your social media marketing more difficult.
Threads is Linked to Your Other Meta Accounts
Details on this are still a little hazy, but this is a really important item that might have a big impact on businesses wanting to use Threads. If you have a personal Instagram account and a total separate personal Facebook account, both of which you want separate from your business, it’s not clear that there is any way to separate that; you may find that your personal life and your business life are colliding far more than is desirable or, for that matter, responsible.
It is also worth noting that users report if you do not like Threads, deleting your account will currently also delete your Instagram account.
Our Take So Far
Threads is obviously brand new, so only time will tell, but with the might of Meta behind it, there’s a good chance that it will last the long haul. There are some security and privacy issues that have us raising our eyebrows a bit, but if there is a strong response by users, it is possible that there will be some changes with future updates. Have you checked out Threads? Give us your take in the comments!