On Wednesday, July 5th, Meta unveiled Threads, a revolutionary text-based extension of Instagram, marking a significant development in the ever-evolving social media landscape. Taking inspiration from platforms like Twitter, Threads aims to provide a platform for creators to share ideas, participate in conversations and connect with audiences without the necessity for polished graphics, curated images or recorded videos. With its rapid launch and immediate mass adoption, Threads seems to be charting a new course in the social media sphere. In this blog post, I’ll delve into the intricacies of Threads, unpacking its features, evaluating its early reception, and sharing my insights and predictions for the future of this promising platform.
Threads is a NEW app by the Instagram team that allows creators to share ideas and have conversations (this is key!) without needing to create a graphic, curate a picture, or record a video (Reel).
Sound a bit like Twitter? Well… you’re not wrong! And candidly the app feels nearly identical.
As Threads launched before it was “ready” – it is lacking a few features though:
From watching what Adam Mosseri posts and replies – some of these features ARE coming!
Threads isn’t the first or only Twitter competitor out there! There’s also Bluesky and Mastadon. If you’ve never heard of them – don’t fret. Not many have because their launch wasn’t widely adapted.
(I think we can all agree joining a new social media app wasn’t on the 2023 bingo card because it’s hard freaking work.)
Threads on the other hand? Well within days of the apps launch it’s already gained more than 70-million users according to Meta which makes it one of the fastest-growing apps ever. AND they made it really easy to connect with your existing followers, so you aren’t starting from zero on the app (more on that later!)
While Threads is a completely separate application from Instagram, they are extremely connected. In the screenshot below – on the left the arrow points to a direct link to my Threads Profile from Instagram and on the right, the arrow points to a direct link to my Instagram Profile from Threads. They’re intrinsically linked!
And to take that a step further – Meta made it unbelievably easy to get signed up on and find the people you already follow on Instagram! Which leads us to how it’s been so widely adapted already…
If you feel like you can’t open Instagram or Facebook without seeing something about Threads – you’re not alone. There are a couple of reasons…
I joined Threads at about 7:05pm (5 minutes after the launch) and was amazed how easy it was to get set up. I downloaded the app, opened it, imported my information from Instagram such as bio, link, username, and photo and I was posting within minutes.
Beyond just ease of getting started, Threads defaulted to automatically connecting you with your existing Instagram followers and who you are following on Instagram.
Sadly, I didn’t experience this firsthand. Joining so quickly after the app became available on the App Store I didn’t have recommendations for who to follow. But how it worked was when you signed up for Threads, it would ask you if you wanted to automatically follow the people you already follow on Instagram and YES was the DEFAULT choice!
This is HUGE because like I said earlier – nobody had “join a new social app” on their 2023 bingo card. Starting and building a following on a new app is rarely fun.
If there is anything Creators love, it’s gaining followers and doing so quickly! Instagram defaulting to this was *chefs kiss* brilliant. Users aren’t starting from zero on the new app. They’re starting with big leg up no matter what.
Unlike Clubhouse (which was invite only and had a long wait for Android), BlueSky (invite codes), and other social media apps – if you have an Instagram account – you’ve been invited to Threads. There was no exclusivity. It was an open invite!
At the time of writing this – the only exception is EU friends. (I am so sorry.)
Between Facebook and Instagram, Meta really didn’t have a visibility platform. I’ve been telling my clients and students that Instagram is a NURTURE platform now and much less of a discoverability platform.
Threads is working to connect you with NEW audiences and reconnect you with folks you haven’t seen the content of in years.
Not only does the app fill a much-needed set of features for the Meta user-base but it also comes at a key time for Twitter absolutely sucking (sorry, not sorry). The launch of Threads came right after a weird weekend for Twitter.
Twitter began limiting Twitter access for non-subscribers. For example, this means that if you’re reading an article and there was an embedded tweet in there you may have to sign in or make a Twitter account to view that tweet.
Google appears to no longer be able to index tweets either.
Twitter keeps taking away “normal” features such as two-factor authentication without paying for Twitter Blue making it hard for some to want to use the app.
There is a LOT more on how Elon is destroying Twitter but candidly – I don’t think you (my audience!) cares enough for me to keep going here!
If your curiosity is at all peaked – I think you should give it a try.
I doubly think you should give it a try if you ever liked Twitter (I personally loved it back in like 2012-2015) or if you have a following on Instagram you’re struggling to connect with.
Threads is also an awesome opportunity if you don’t want to post on Instagram but still want to connect with those audiences.
This is still very much TBD for me. I love short form writing. I kept *trying* to go back to Twitter and it just wasn’t happening for me. My people weren’t over there and because of that I couldn’t really stay motivated to post and engage.
Right now – my plans are:
Threads is a big unknown right now. Will it stick around? Will it continue to be used? Will Meta somehow cannibalize it?
I’m not sure. It’s still early days. We’ve seen serious hype before (remember Clubhouse? And that BRIEF hype over Lemon8?) that promised quick growth from scratch.
BUT we have NEVER seen something like Threads that allows you to leverage your existing audience to grow in such a native way.
If Meta takes this seriously and dumps some resources into it there is no telling how big this could get!
Sources & Credits: