On the 5th of July, Meta (the parent company of Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp), unveiled Threads, a new conversation-based app that has already gathered one million sign-ups within its first week of launch. Threads, designed to rival Twitter, offers users a platform to share short snippets of text in a free and engaging manner. Let’s delve into the details of this exciting new app and compare it to Twitter.
What is Threads?
Threads is a standalone platform that emphasises conversation and allows users to share brief snippets of text. Unlike Twitter, Threads is closely linked to Instagram, requiring users to have an Instagram account to sign up. Mark Zuckerberg, the driving force behind Threads, envisions it as a friendly public space for conversations, combining Instagram’s strengths with a new focus on text-based content.
Features and Functionality
Threads offers users the ability to express themselves with up to 500 characters, enabling concise yet meaningful communication. Additionally, users can share photos and videos up to five minutes long, providing a more dynamic and immersive experience. The app is available in over 100 countries, with plans for further expansion, excluding the European Union.
Zuckerberg’s Active Involvement
Mark Zuckerberg, already boasting over 1 million followers on Threads within 24 hours of its launch, has actively engaged with users on the platform. He has answered questions and shared updates on his plans for the future of the app. Zuckerberg’s approach remains focused on ensuring the app’s functionality before contemplating its potential monetisation.
Threads vs. Twitter
While many consider Threads to be a potential “Twitter killer,” it is yet to be seen whether Zuckerberg’s app will replace the popular platform entirely. Nonetheless, Zuckerberg’s competitive nature has led him to incorporate features from rival apps in the past.
Character and Video Limits
Meta has set a character limit of 500 for Threads, surpassing Twitter’s limit of 280 characters for unverified users. Additionally, Threads allows users to post five-minute videos, whereas Twitter restricts non-verified users to two minutes and 20 seconds of video content.
To join Threads, users must have an Instagram account. After creating an account, users can download the Threads app on iOS or Android. During the initial setup, users have the option to automatically follow all the accounts they currently follow on Instagram or select a few of them. This feature raises interesting questions about the overlap between stunning image-focused accounts and accounts that provide captivating prose or ideas on various topics. In contrast, Twitter operates as a stand-alone social media platform, requiring no account on any other site.
While Twitter incorporates advertisements as a means of financing the platform, it offers an entirely ad-free experience, owing to its novelty. Meta may be operating Threads at a loss in the short term to support its expansion. However, ad integration could be considered in the future. In terms of ad policies, Threads has an advantage over Twitter, as most users appreciate the absence of unnecessary ads.
One key distinction between Twitter and Threads lies in their messaging capabilities. Twitter offers in-app messaging, allowing users to contact mutuals or any user, depending on privacy settings. Users can send voice messages, photos, GIFs, and texts, as well as easily share tweets with others. On the other hand, Threads currently lacks an in-app messaging feature. While users can share a Thread with someone via text, there is no direct alternative to tagging someone in a post’s comment box. If you wish to reach out to a Threads user, it is recommended to use Instagram DMs.
You might be tempted to dive in and establish a presence on Threads. However, we strongly advise considering this step only if you have already built a strong following on Instagram since Threads imports your data from there.
If you decide to join the platform, make sure to develop a clear strategy and share light-hearted topics that foster conversations. This approach could create a valuable (and free) source of insights directly from your audience.
It’s difficult to predict the future of Threads for businesses at this stage, but we could expect to see more promotional features and improved functionality in the near future. This, in turn, could potentially attract a larger user base to the platform.
Take the plunge, sign up, and share your thoughts with us. We’re excited to hear what you think about this engaging new platform!
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