Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has recently unveiled Threads, a new social network. The new platform is reminiscent of Twitter, but also draws inspiration from microblogging platforms like Tumblr and Mastodon.
Launched in over 100 countries at the beginning of July 2023, Threads swiftly collected a staggering 20 million subscribers within a mere 24 hours of its launch, surpassing the remarkable milestone of 100 million users in less than a week. This achievement is truly extraordinary! Although Threads still has a considerable gap to close in comparison to Twitter, which presently boasts an impressive user base of around 350 million, its entrance has unmistakably impacted its competitor's traffic.
Interestingly, Instagram now features a numerical indicator beneath your profile picture, denoting your number of subscriptions.
How do I sign up for Threads?
Meta has streamlined the account creation process for Threads, especially if you already possess an Instagram account. For the time being, your username will remain unchanged.
Following that, you have the option to craft a brief bio or import one from your Instagram account (which you can subsequently modify to your preference). The same goes for your profile picture.
Lastly, you can determine whether you prefer to have a public or private profile, as well as select the Instagram accounts you wish to follow on Threads.
How does Threads operate?
Threads functions in a manner strikingly similar to Twitter, but with a few important distinctions. Notably, you have the freedom to create messages spanning up to 500 characters, effectively doubling Twitter's 240-character limit. The interface of Threads is deliberately uncluttered, even embracing a minimalist design, and it provides the option to choose between a normal (light) or dark mode.
One particularly captivating feature that truly embodies the essence of its name is the ability to create genuine discussion threads comprising multiple messages. By simply pressing the "Enter" key on your phone's keyboard three times, the application automatically initiates a new message that is published directly beneath the original (or preceding) message. This eliminates the need to navigate through each message individually.
Threads possesses a secret weapon known as "fediverse " (a clever mix of "federation" and "universe"). Essentially, this decentralized protocol empowers Threads users to track and follow exchanges on various platforms, including Bluesky and Mastodon (both of which are also decentralized), among others. Users can even access data from other networks, blogs, or websites, enabling them to create social graphs and much more.
What makes Threads stand out (or outperform Twitter)
Currently, Threads refrains from direct advertising, although brand and celebrity accounts have found a way to capitalize on the social network's algorithm, which prioritizes posts from active members and showcases them to newcomers.
This approach has been embraced by the likes of Wendy's, the fast-food chain, which has displayed remarkable activity since joining Threads, and Quentin Tarantino, a prominent critic of the “bluebird” platform and its new owner.
Furthermore, the anticipated arrival of the @ElonMusksJet account has stirred considerable user excitement. This account tracks the movements of the world's wealthiest individual's private plane and had previously been banned from the platform due to alleged sharing of private information. However, the information shared by this account remains accessible to anyone with knowledge of programming an API (an openly published programming interface for application development).
Threads also offers an array of useful features that distinguish it from Twitter. For instance, it allows users to block specific accounts and keywords, granting greater control over their experience. Additionally, the platform provides the option to mute or restrict accounts without entirely blocking them, enabling users to manage their interactions more precisely.
In addition, it is possible to include one or multiple images within a single message on Threads. The interface facilitates horizontal scrolling, reminiscent of an Instagram carousel, but with a unique twist. Instead of a countdown, you catch a glimpse of the subsequent image on the right.
Threads further demonstrates its strengths by allowing images to be shared in their
original format without any alterations. Whether in landscape or portrait mode, rectangular images are not subjected to cropping or forced into a square shape.
Limitations of Threads' Current Functionality
Threads lacks support for the utilization of keywords or hashtags. While you can include them in your posts, they are not clickable for content filtering purposes. Thus, a manual search becomes necessary.
Additionally, the platform does not provide the capability to create customized subscriber lists or feeds. Instead, users are required to manually scroll through all content. Thankfully, the content is organized (almost) chronologically, a feature that has become scarce on other Meta platforms.
Another limitation of Threads is the absence of an easy "zoomin" function for shared images. To achieve zooming, one must precisely synchronize the placement of two fingers on the screen and subsequently enlarge the image without lifting them. Otherwise, restarting the process is inevitable.
Nor does the interface of Threads support rotation to facilitate landscape mode, both for the overall interface and the displayed images.
One noticeable missing feature is the ability to edit or correct posts, similar to the functionality offered on Instagram. In this aspect, Threads falls short, just like Twitter.
The capability for seamless video sharing is still a work in progress, and integration of Instagram Reels into a post is currently not possible.
There is no dedicated private message box on Threads. For individuals who have grown weary of encountering harassment or unwanted contact from fake accounts, whether on Instagram or elsewhere, this absence might be considered a positive aspect.
Lastly, Threads is not yet accessible in Europe due to a minor legal dispute between
Meta and the European continent.
Unleashing Your Brand's Potential on Threads
It is a rarity to witness the immediate success of a social network. Threads has emerged as an opportunity for a fresh start or a timely departure from platforms that have increasingly succumbed to toxicity, while also witnessing the removal of several valuable features (such as the exclusive availability of the useful TweetDeck tool reserved for privileged individuals adorned with the coveted blue checkmark, a privilege often associated with financial means).
The platform's access to the "fediverse" undoubtedly remains a significant advantage for both Threads and its users. This access allows users to engage with individuals on various platforms and leverage data to create graphs and other beneficial tools.
The longevity of Threads beyond a few months is uncertain and only time will reveal its fate. Presently, with the majority of users concentrated in America and the platform's tendency to deliver content to new users without significant filtering, unlike Facebook or Instagram, this is an opportune moment to connect with your audience and garner visibility for your brand!
Capital-Image's team of professionals can help you assess whether Threads is the right platform for your brand. Our experts can offer guidance throughout the registration process and aid in the development of a comprehensive strategy for crafting and publishing content on this rapidly expanding platform. Reach out to us today to discuss further.