18 July 2023

Pulling on Threads: Making the Cut to Mainstream Media

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Pulling on Threads: Making the Cut to Mainstream Media
Harriet StevensWritten ByHarriet Stevens

Harriet Stevens is the Director of Client Services at Propeller. Working with us for over 12 years, Harriet has been instrumental in building relationships with key clients and ensuring fulfilling digital solutions on every project.

After attracting 10 million users within its first few hours, it’s fair to say that Threads arrived with an impact. To rival Twitter, Mark Zuckerberg launched Threads to be “an open and friendly public space for conversation”. As the app has only been live for a few weeks, it’s still not necessarily clear whether its’ staying for the long haul. 

For those in marketing and social media roles, getting your brands up and running on this new platform is seemingly a no-brainer. Even if Threads falls short of taking Twitter’s spot, it’s still an excellent opportunity to try a new channel and see if you receive more engagement.

Getting started

Threads is linked with Instagram, meaning you cannot create a Threads account without already having an existing Instagram account. While this may seem like a strange prerequisite, it does give the distinct advantage of allowing you to transfer your followers. In other words, brands and personal accounts alike won’t have to start out on this platform at ground zero. Companies with big Instagram followings can go from zero to millions of followers in no time. If a company already has a substantial Instagram following, it would seem almost negligent not to consider opening a Threads account. Threads is more of a text-based social network than Instagram. Therefore, it might give social media strategists a different way of talking to customers. However, if a brand doesn’t currently have an Instagram account, it will effectively be starting from scratch. A potential solution could be for Meta to establish a similar link between Facebook and Threads, making it possible for companies to migrate Facebook followers. Though, this isn’t an option yet.

What are the pros and cons of joining this platform?

What you could be missing out on

First mover advantage

Platforms that do add Threads to their radar early have an opportunity to build a strong base early. 

There’s nothing to lose

Ultimately, there is nothing to lose from adding this new social media platform to your strategy over the next few months. If this does knock Twitter into the sidelines, your brand will already have a strong positioning on this app.

What to be wary of

Currently only available on smartphones

Those who handle social media in their profession will be getting frustrated at the current limitations of this app. Unavailable for desktop users, individuals will have to run social posts manually- at least for now- through Threads. 

Shiny object syndrome

Anything new can present positive opportunities to a marketing strategy. However, it can also distract from targets that have been set before Threads launched. A strong example of this is Clubhouse, which at its peak in 2020 was valued at $4 billion. Two years later Clubhouse had completely lost its cult following. 

No paid advertising- yet

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.

While this presents a welcome relief to the average Threads user, it could be more challenging for smaller businesses or brands to gain attention.

It’s only a matter of time before Threads introduces ads. Zuckerberg has expressed that once the app is on a clear path to a billion users, Meta will start to consider monetisation. Though for now, there’s no way to pay your way into potential customers’ feeds.

Will it really take over Twitter?

Incorporating Threads into established quarterly strategies will  exert time and budget. One question business owners will want to answer before committing, is whether this platform has a long-term future.

The early figures were incredibly encouraging. With Twitter reportedly threatening legal action, there is clearly a concern that Threads could be a worthy opponent.

However, interest in the app is already dropping, and fast. Daily active users were reportedly down by 20% in just a few days. Time spent on the app cut in half, from 20 minutes down to just 10.

It is still incredibly early to know the future of the app. Feedback from users is currently mixed. Many cite the need for more basic features; from direct messaging to to sorting your timeline in chronological order, as evidence this platform is not up to scratch. Though, this doesn’t mean that Threads isn’t undergoing constant improvements to its platform. 

In summary

The jury is still out on whether or not Threads is here for the long haul, and more importantly, if it will become a mainstream social media network. As hoards of individuals flock to the app in its beginning, the app is truly being put to the test. As the shortcomings of an app in its’ early stages are getting flagged, it is up to Meta to address these issues and build on its latest creation before Threads is pulled apart at the seams. 

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