Overview: What’s all this fuss you keep hearing about Threads? What is it, exactly? Could it really replace Twitter? And should you be using it for your small business? Read on to learn all about it!
In your recent travels around the internet, you’ve probably heard a lot of chatter about social media platforms and their battle for users, which has been heating up lately. Twitter has been on shaky ground since Elon Musk purchased the company in late 2022, and several newer platforms have sprung up, all hoping to be the next big thing in social media.
Perhaps the biggest threat to Twitter’s dominance at the moment is Threads, a new social media platform launched this month by Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. If you’ve heard about Threads, you might be wondering: What is it? What’s all the fuss about? And should I create a Threads account to promote my small business?
In this blog post, we’re taking a look at the new platform — and hopefully, wrapping up some loose ends about Threads.
What Is Threads ?
Threads is the new social media platform from Meta, the tech company behind Facebook and Instagram, and it represents Meta’s attempt to dethrone Twitter with a very similar user experience. It’s been described, not unfairly, as “a Twitter clone.”
One advantage of Threads is that it’s extremely easy to sign up for. If your small business already has an Instagram account, you’re just a few clicks or taps away from creating a Threads account.
Threads is still new, but it’s already shaking things up. There’s a whole mob of Twitter alternatives — Mastodon, Bluesky, Spoutible, Hive, and many more — that are hoping to rise to the top as Twitter shows signs of faltering. But Threads had a remarkable debut, with over 100 million new accounts created in its first week!
>> Related Reading: Threads Now Fasting Growing App in History
Much of this is likely due to the built-in advantage that comes with being part of the Meta family. There was a huge amount of publicity, paid and free, surrounding the launch of Threads. And the aforementioned ease of signing up certainly hasn’t hurt, especially when you consider that some of the other similar platforms have waiting lists or require invitations to join.
Could Threads Replace Twitter?
It’s too early to make any predictions with certainty, but… maybe! So far, Threads is providing an app that’s extremely familiar to longtime Twitter users, with intuitive timeline scrolling and posting experiences.
For many, Threads also represents something of a fresh start after Twitter has made a series of less-than-popular decisions. In recent months, Twitter has started requiring users to pay for verified accounts, failed to make good on a promise to eliminate bots, and announced new limits on the number of tweets users can see per day. Twitter now comes loaded with a certain amount of baggage that the shiny-new Threads just doesn’t have.
Which is not to say that Threads is perfect! It’s still new, and certain features available on Twitter have yet to show up on Threads. As of today, there is no web version of Threads, which means anyone who wants to use has to use the app on a mobile device. It also lacks a DM (direct messaging) feature, which means you can’t have a private conversation on the platform.
And there’s nothing resembling Twitter’s “For you” tab, which gives users the option of only seeing content from accounts they’ve chosen to follow. When you open Threads, you’re met with a hodgepodge of content from every type of account. That could prove frustrating for users who prefer to curate the content they receive.
>> Related Reading: Threads vs. Twitter: 9 Biggest Differences
Musk vs. Zuck?
Either way, Threads has been the subject of so much hype that Twitter owner Elon Musk hasn’t been able to resist sounding off. In response to jokes about Threads’ early popularity — and Meta owner Mark Zuckerberg’s reactions to said jokes — Musk has flung insults at Zuckerberg and suggested that they face off in a cage match.
Zuckerberg, for his part, replied to this challenge by asking Musk to name the location for the fight. Whatever technical know-how or management skills they may have, we’ll just say neither of the two tech giants is looking exceptionally mature at this moment.
Are Major Brands Using Threads?
Okay, we’ve established a ton of people all over the world have signed up for Threads. But does that extend to high-profile brands as well as individual users?
The short answer: Yes!
The longer answer: Hundreds (thousands?) of the world’s biggest names in entertainment, sports, food, and more jumped on Threads as soon as the new social media platform became available.
A quick browse through the app reveals that this includes the NBA, WWE, all the major TV networks and streaming services, video game companies, and restaurant chains — there’s even an official account for Bluey the cartoon dog! A handful of brands that are famous for using an irreverent social media voice and making jokes on Twitter have already started continuing this tradition on Threads. (This includes everyone’s favorite snarky Twitter brand, Wendy’s.)
Not all of these accounts have posted content yet, but they have accounts standing by for the moment they choose to start using the platform. As of this writing, there’s a lack of government institutions on Threads (entities like the IRS, the National Weather Service, and NASA are still on Twitter), but a handful of individual politicians are already on board.
It’s clear that some of the biggest, most popular brands around have recognized the potential of Threads, and they want to be there if it does turn out to be the next big thing.
>> Related Reading: The Most Interesting Brands on Threads Right Now
Should You Use Threads for Your Small Business?
You’re probably well aware of the value of maintaining a social media presence for marketing your small business, especially if you’ve been at it for a while. So is it a good idea to get in on the ground floor and start using Threads for your business now? There are a few things to consider before Threading it up.
First, consider your audience. With Threads taking off so quickly, there’s a good chance that members of your target audience who spend time on social media are spending time on Threads, or will be soon.
If you tend to see a lot of engagement from your small business’s followers on Twitter and Instagram, those followers are likely to carry over to Threads. On the other hand, if most of your engagement comes from LinkedIn and Facebook, it’s less of a sure thing.
Also, whether you’re planning to use the app for business or pleasure: before you tap on the account-creation button, it’s worth thinking about privacy concerns! Social media experts have expressed alarm at the number of new Threads users who have signed up without being aware of how much information the app will be collecting from them.
As reported by The Guardian, the app’s potential launch in the European Union has even been delayed due to privacy concerns! The Guardian notes that Threads gets access to users’ “GPS location, cameras, photos, IP information, the type of device being used and device signals including ‘Bluetooth signals, nearby Wi-Fi access points, beacons and cell towers.'”
Exactly what Meta plans to do with all of that information is not crystal-clear, but it’s enough to keep some people away from the new platform.
And as we mentioned above, there’s currently no way to set Threads specifically to only show you content from accounts you follow. This means that you’re going to see a lot of random posts as you scroll the app — and so are your potential customers, which means that your small business’s content might get lost in a sea of social media claptrap.
If social media is a crucial part of your marketing strategy and you don’t want to run the risk of getting left behind, you might want to start building a presence on Threads now. But at this point, with the future of social media at large looking so uncertain, we wouldn’t blame anyone for taking a “wait and see” approach and keeping an eye on further developments before jumping into Threads.
We hope this blog post has shed some light on Threads and given you some useful insights so you can decide whether signing up is the right move for you. Of course, if you do decide to give it a try, you can go in with full awareness of its limitations — and you can always walk away if it turns out that it’s not a good fit for your small business.
If you’ve been thinking about checking out Threads — or expanding your overall social media presence — you might find it challenging to find opportunities to do so because you have to spend so much time running your business and maintaining your business website.
We’d be thrilled to help you with this! At MyUnlimitedWP, we’d love to take over the time-consuming drudgery of your website’s technical details, leaving you with more time to promote your business on the social media platforms of your choosing. Contact us today to learn more!