That noise you can hear is social media managers weeping. Already tasked with keeping on top of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and various other social media channels, there’s a new player in town. Should businesses join Threads?
The quick answer is that thousands already have. With Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg boasting of 30m sign-ups in the first morning, many big brands have been quick to chase that sizeable audience. Spotify, Netflix, Channel 4, Aldi and Chelsea FC are just some of the big-name brands already appearing in people’s feeds.
Should your business join them? Here are a few things to consider first.
The Instagram link
One of the reasons so many big brands have been quick to leap on to Threads is because of its tight integration with another of Meta’s massive social networks, Instagram.
Threads users can currently only sign in with an Instagram account, and when you do, you immediately have the option to follow all of the same accounts you follow on Instagram. Likewise, when users sign in for the first time, they’re prompted to immediately follow any brands they already do on Insta. Consequently, companies with big Instagram followings can go from zero to millions of Threads followers in no time at all.
Netflix US already has 1.7m Threads followers at the time of writing, for example. Nike has almost 500,000, ASOS has just over 200,000. Disney has more than half a million followers and it hasn’t made a post yet. All this just over a day after the service was launched.
If your business already has a substantial Instagram following, it would seem almost negligent not to explore opening a Threads account, because you’ll likely have a large band of followers the moment you start posting. And with Threads being a much more text-based social network than Instagram, it might give you a different means of talking to your customers.
On the flip side, if your brand doesn’t currently have an Instagram account, you will effectively be starting from scratch. It’s possible Meta will forge a similar link between Facebook and Threads in time, making it easier for businesses to migrate Facebook followers to the new social network, but that’s not yet an option.
Threads management tools
If you are planning to give Threads a go, be warned that account management tools are sparse.
Everything is currently driven via mobile apps, there is no desktop or web interface. There’s nothing in the way of tools similar to TweetDeck, which you may be familiar with from Twitter.
What’s more, there’s little in the way of analytics and other tools to measure the performance of Threads output. No doubt Meta will get around to implementing better tools for businesses and brands eventually, but they may be weeks, months or even years down the line.
Threads advertising – or lack thereof
If your social media strategy relies on a mix of organic content and advertising, then you’ll only get half of that with Threads. Currently, there’s no advertising on the service.
That might come as a welcome relief to the average Threads user, but that could make it more difficult for smaller businesses or brands to attract attention.
It’s surely only a matter of time before Threads does introduce ads – Meta makes the vast majority of its revenue from advertising – but for the time being, there’s no way to pay your way into potential customers’ feeds.
Threads – does it have a long-term future?
Perhaps the biggest question business owners will want answering – before ploughing effort and money into building a Threads audience – is whether the network has any long-term future?
The early figures are very encouraging, and with Elon Musk’s Twitter reportedly already threatening legal action against Threads, there’s clearly concern that the network is more than a short-term fad.
But these are still very early days. The feedback from early Threads users is decidedly mixed. Many lament the absence of even basic features, such as the option to make timelines appear in chronological order or to direct message other users. Others are complaining about being fed content from accounts they haven’t followed in the first place.
Meta has promised to roll out new features quickly, but given that it’s been rumoured to have been working on a Twitter rival well before Elon Musk acquired the company late last year, it’s surprising how rushed this early iteration of Threads feels.
There’s definitely no guarantee Threads has a long-term future as a mainstream social network. Business owners might want to wait a few weeks or months to see whether Threads’ early impact lasts.
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