RGC Digital Marketing

By Kieran Frank

Threads: The Next Big Thing For Digital Marketers?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard about Meta’s latest platform, Threads. While it might be viewed as a pawn in an all-out assault against Twitter, this new social media platform presents endless opportunities for all users, especially digital marketers

The launch of Threads has come hot on the heels of major evolutions in the world of AI which forced digital marketers to entirely re-evaluate their strategies. But if you thought the growth of platforms like Chat GPT was explosive, you’ve seen nothing. Amazingly, the revolutionary AI tool took 5 days to surpass 1 million followers and shocked the world in the process. But this has been surpassed by Threads at a rate you wouldn’t believe.

1 million Threads Followers

With unprecedented growth on a scale the world has never seen before, Threads has captured our attention and imagination. But, is Threads the next big thing for digital marketers, or are we just getting carried away by the hype?

So, What Is Threads On Social Media?

While the launch of Threads initially had users scrambling like their grandparents, things became easy in an instant. You’ve probably heard it described as “Instagram’s version of Twitter”, and that’s a fairly accurate explanation. 

How Does Threads Work?

Building on the success of Instagram and Facebook, Meta have taken things in a new direction by launching a text-based platform. And to say that the app takes inspiration from Twitter would be an understatement. 

In Meta’s words, Threads is “Instagram’s text-based conversation app”. It promises to be a place where “communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow”. Sound familiar?

Threads vs Twitter

Naturally, others have shared more scathing evaluations of the platform. It has been described simply as an imitation of Twitter that capitalises on its downfall. Regardless, Threads has made an enormous impact on the world of social media, and it appears to be sticking around for the long haul. 

But why have so many people already made the switch to this new platform? Well, it might be because we live in an age where anything new launched by notable companies attracts interest. Or, it might be because the format is extremely familiar to Twitter users. So much so that Twitter’s governing body is reported to have decided to take legal action against Meta for the launch of Threads. But really, it’s becoming apparent that the interest in Threads is because it has notable differences from its competitors and presents great opportunities.

What Makes Threads Different?

Threads uses very similar principles to Twitter, allowing users to post their thoughts, expertise and opinions in a range of formats. Users can also comment, share posts and quote pieces that they view on their feed. While videos, images, polls and links are all available, text is the primary form of content. And while Twitter already used these features, Threads have taken things to the next level for social media marketers

Namely, they’ve increased the character limit on texts from 280 to 500, and more than doubled the maximum video length from 2 minutes and 20 seconds to 5 minutes. In addressing these two pain points, Meta has gone above and beyond to deliver a satisfying and simple platform for users to share their opinions. 

But better still, Meta has linked Threads directly to Instagram, allowing users to seamlessly transition between the two apps with a linked account. This has allowed for a simple set-up and an onboarding process that reportedly takes less than 10 seconds to complete. This easy setup immediately addresses one of the major reasons apps aren’t downloaded. 

Key Content Changes Introduced By Threads

And when it comes to new social media platforms, digital marketers know how difficult it is to rebuild an existing follower base on a new platform. Fortunately, Meta has recognised this, and its links to Instagram have also allowed users to ‘import’ their existing Instagram followers onto the new platform, saving influencers and digital marketers a lot of time and heartache. 

These features have marked Threads as the pinnacle of user-friendliness in the social media landscape of 2023. But does this new platform really present any new and noteworthy opportunities for digital marketers? Or is it just more of the same?

What Opportunities Does Threads Offer?

While it only launched recently, and your laptop’s grammar tool probably still thinks you’re talking about polyester and sewing, Threads now has more than 100 million users. On the surface, this may lead us to believe that Threads will simply become a standard social media giant. We’d expect it to offer digital marketers the same set of opportunities as existing platforms like Facebook and Instagram. 

And that’s true. Threads do give digital marketers the same opportunities to share valuable insights and advice to help their business become an authoritative voice in their niche. They have the same chance to build loyal communities that gradually become loyal customers. And importantly, they still have the chance to drive traffic to their website and promote their business to potential customers.

Threads Feed

But, Threads does have some notable differences that digital marketers can capitalise on to create a unique experience for their audience. 

New & Exciting Opportunities To Consider

At the moment, there is no advertising space for sale on Threads. This means your reader’s feed aren’t cluttered with expensive advertisements from your competitors. So now more than ever, content really is king. Organic reach is the key and you still have the chance to engage your audience without spending a cent. 

This absence of advertising gives you a great opportunity to showcase what your brand is about and stand out with really insightful and helpful content. But you’ll want to invest your time and effort into content as early as possible. Like most social media platforms, advertising is set to become a key component of Threads. Just take Instagram for example. When it launched in 2010, advertising was not part of its scope, but today, it’s one of its biggest income streams. 

Naturally, the introduction of paid advertisements will offer digital marketers even greater opportunities to get in front of their ideal customers.

But Threads has the potential to offer digital marketers much more than this. 

Limitless Connections

In the near future, Threads plan to make their platform compatible with ActivityPub, which is an open social networking protocol established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

In essence, this will allow Threads to seamlessly connect with other apps (not just Instagram) that currently support the ActivityPub Protocol. This currently includes many well-known platforms like Mastodon and WordPress. At the moment, this type of feature is not available on many social platforms.

Key Platforms Within ActivityPub

What Does This Really Mean?

Think about it as the introduction of live streaming to sport. Before sport was televised, the performance of a football team could only be observed by those fans inside the stadium. However, when live streaming was introduced, the match could suddenly be viewed by fans viewing the match on television too. They might have been at home or at a pub, or anywhere else with access to the stream. 

In our case, ActivityPub operates as the streaming service, and content posted on Threads is the team viewers scrutinise. The integration of ActivityPub means that people outside the Threads platform are able to view and interact with the content, just as we can now watch football matches away from the stadium thanks to streaming services.

But What Does This Mean For Digital Marketers?

Well, no longer will you be bound by the confines of your specific follower count on one specific platform. Seamless connection with other platforms means that digital marketers, businesses and influencers will be able to connect with a much larger audience than ever before, and without any extra effort.

Threads On Instagram

This might make it appear harder to resonate with each customer, leaving little room for error. Every word that a business shares is scrutinised more than ever. However, this will reward those skilled few that are able to create timeless messages that resonate with a wider audience. A wider audience means more chances to impress. You’ll have a better opportunity to connect with those users that are searching for what you offer. 

As a result, the most effective content creators will be those that understand their audience better than anyone else. Careful market research, analysis, and understanding of consumer desires have never been more important to the digital success of businesses. 

Key Takeaways 

The introduction of Threads marks a new age in the social media landscape. And we all know that change and new opportunities can be overwhelming for digital marketers. With a great deal of new ideas to consider, you might forget some important information along the way. So here’s what you need to know. 

What is the Threads social media app? Threads is new, it’s exciting, and it’s developed by Meta, the company behind Instagram and Facebook. It’s text-based and built on the foundations of Twitter, offering a similar user experience and near identical form of content. 

However, Threads have taken things to the next level with fewer restrictions on content, a seamless setup process with direct links to Instagram, and the ability to import followers from Instagram.  

The main opportunity Threads presents digital marketers is focused around quality content. With no existing advertising space available to purchase, organic content is the key to growth. And remember, Threads are taking steps to promote borderless growth for brands. With links to ActivityPub, you’ll reach a bigger audience than ever before. 

So, what should you do? Above all else, you must revert back to the basics of social media marketing. Your priority should be to understand your target audience inside out. Provide them with content that matters to them and resonates with them, and you’ll be on your way to success.

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