BREAKING NEWS! If you have been on Instagram in the past week, you know that there’s a new app in town: Threads. Whether you’re loving it or resisting it, let’s talk about it.
I’m not usually the earliest adopter – I still haven’t really jumped on the TikTok train after watching apps like Clubhouse and Vine, but this one felt different for a few reasons.
I signed up for both my personal and the goal digger podcast accounts as soon as the ‘doors opened’ in the early morning of July 5th and I’ve been having the BEST time sharing my random daily thoughts I haven’t had a place to share anywhere else.
In this episode, I’ll share what Threads is, why I think it’ll be successful, why people are loving it, ideas around what to share, and a bit of strategy that I’d recommend for business owners.
Are you thread-y? 😉
What Is Threads?
Threads is a new text-based app released by Meta, the company that manages Facebook and Instagram. It is considered a companion app to Instagram and was launched on July 5th, 2023. The app gained immense popularity, with 70 million sign ups in just one day, making it the fastest growing social media platform in the world.
The feed on Threads looks strikingly similar to Twitter, consisting mostly of text status updates. However, users can also post videos and pictures, although the platform is primarily focused on text. The design of the app is visually pleasing and simple to read, resembling a Twitter feed. Unlike Twitter, which has a 150-character limit, Threads allows users to have up to 500 characters per thread. This provides more room for meaningful dialogue and content.
While Twitter has a discover page that offers trending topics and personalized recommendations, Threads currently only allows users to scroll through the home feed of people they follow. However, it is speculated that Threads may introduce a trending or discover page in the future. The app also lacks a post draft feature at launch, which is available on Twitter. It is expected that Threads will continue to add new features and updates as it evolves.
One notable difference between Threads and Twitter is the absence of direct messages (DMs) on Threads. Twitter has a direct message option for private conversations with followers, but Threads does not offer this feature. This could change in the future, as the app continues to develop. The lack of DMs on Threads creates a more public line of communication and relieves users from the pressure of responding to private messages.
Considering that Threads is positioned as the companion app to Instagram, it is unlikely that Meta intends to replicate all the features of Instagram on Threads. Combining DMs from Threads and Instagram into a universal mailbox could be a possibility, allowing users to access their Threads DMs from Instagram. This integration would make the user experience more seamless and user-friendly.
The success of Threads in terms of its rapid signups and popularity highlights the potential it holds for businesses. The fact that 100 million people signed up for Threads in just five days is inspiring for business owners. It demonstrates the power of a new platform and the opportunities it presents for reaching a wider audience.
Threads provides a platform for businesses to share updates, engage with their audience, and post meaningful content. With the increased character limit compared to Twitter, businesses can convey more detailed and impactful messages. The absence of DMs on Threads also means that businesses can focus on public communication without the added pressure of responding to private messages.
While Threads currently lacks certain features like a discover page and DMs, it is expected to evolve and introduce new functionalities.
They Released It Imperfectly to Gather Real-Time Feedback
One of the most interesting aspects of the release of Threads is the approach taken by Meta. They have followed a “done is better than perfect” strategy, acknowledging that the app is not yet fully developed and may have some drawbacks. This approach is refreshing in a world where many businesses wait until their product or service is perfect before releasing it to the public.
Upon its release, Threads faced some criticism for not including certain features such as a followers-only timeline and the inability to delete accounts. There were also complaints about early censorship on the platform. However, Meta has been responsive to these concerns and has expressed gratitude for the excitement surrounding the app.
What is inspiring about the release of Threads is that Meta is actively seeking real-time feedback from users. They are not waiting for the app to be perfect before putting it out into the world. This approach allows them to gather valuable insights and make improvements based on user feedback. It is a reminder to business owners that sometimes it is better to release an imperfect product or service and iterate based on feedback, rather than waiting for perfection.
What People Are Loving About It
So far, there’s a lot to love about Threads. Here are the things I’ve noticed people are loving about it:
- People are actually engaging, responding, and having real conversations
- No bots (yet)
- No DMS (yet)
- It’s less stimulating than Instagram and Tik Tok
- It allows you to see content from people you have followed for years but the algorithm hasn’t shown lately.
- No ads, fewer visuals; It kind of feels like the water cooler in the workplace!
- There is no expectation of making things visually appealing or curated
- It’s a very positive environment
- The app makes it easy to meet new creators
- Users are taking an ‘unfiltered’ approach and sharing random thoughts and moments
- You don’t start with zero because you bring your followers from Instagram
Basically, it’s a place to engage and connect with your community without the pressure of perfection. (Like, sign me up!)
How to Sign Up for Threads
Speaking of signing up… If you haven’t explored it yet, here’s how to create a Threads account:
- Install the Threads app (available for Android or iOS).
- After installing and launching the app, you’ll be prompted to log in with your Instagram account. Note: you must be logged into Instagram already on your phone.
- Once you’ve selected an Instagram account to use, you’ll be prompted to customize your Threads profile. Your username is imported from your Instagram account.
- You can add a bio or a custom link on your Threads profile, or you can tap the Import from Instagram button to import your profile data from Instagram.
- Next is the privacy option screen, where you can make your Threads profile public or private, depending on your preference. For conducting business, I would recommend a Public profile.
- On the next screen, you’ll be prompted to follow the same accounts you follow on Instagram. You can either select individual accounts you wish to follow on Threads or tap Follow all to follow all the accounts you are already following on Instagram.
After that, you’re ready to dive in! The app is very intuitive, with a home button on the bottom bar to see the threads of those you follow, a search feature to find other creators, a composition button to compose a “Thread”, a notification center, and a place to view and edit your own profile.
Threads Strategy for Business Owners
As marketers, it’s important to have a plan when using a new platform, even if it’s just for personal enjoyment, because you naturally have to consider the return on investment of your time. While it is still early to have a concrete strategy for Threads, here are some of my early thoughts on how the platform can be strategically used.
- Use Threads as a testing ground for content ideas: This is a perfect place to drop ideas, topics, thoughts, and see what is resonating with your audience before you create more content around it.
- Focus right now on connection and conversation: You can get to conversion later, but right now just focus on building engagement.
- Show your personality: Every time something new comes out people talk about how they are craving less curation and strategy and more realness. This is a great place to share thoughts that may not be directly related to or in support of your business or offer.
- Test out the JK5 method: I love creating 5 content pillars (the JK5) that I consistently talk about on social media to generate brand awareness, and it’s a great place to start when considering your Threads strategy. Who knows; it might even reveal a new pillar for you or help you connect deeper on a pillar!
- Provide digestible value: This will help your audience get quick wins whether it’s learning something new, seeing others thoughts/feedback, thinking about something in a different way.
- Use it for customer support: If you’re able to respond in a timely manner, this can be another great connection point and channel to provide support for your customers.
- Comment on other people’s threads to grow your account: Right now this is the main way to grow your account beyond the people who already follow you on Instagram and so be active and add in good insight and commentary on other people’s threads!
Threads Content Ideas
Threads as a valuable tool for building connections and sharing content. Here are 5 content ideas you can use on Threads TODAY!
- Ask a lot of questions: Some ideas: What’s the best book you’ve read? What’s a lesser known TV show that you recommend? What are you eating for lunch? People LOVE talking about themselves, so give them a chance to shine.
- Share quotes: They can be from you or someone you love that helps connect people and let them into your world on a little deeper level. This is an easy way to share meaningful content.
- Challenge people: Whether it’s to do a task or reach out to a friend, task them with something they should do or try today.
- Give a glimpse of behind the scenes: Whether it’s of your work or your life, let people feel like they are peeking behind the curtain through your posts or words and finding content from you they wouldn’t find anywhere else.
- Start conversations: Bonus points if they are short and easy to partake in! Make it a two-way dialogue vs. sharing into the void.
There you have it, Goal Digger! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Threads, so join in on the conversations happening @jennakutcher and @goaldiggerpodcast. See you there!