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Branding, Digital/Social / Jul 6, 2023

Thread Counts: Why agencies need to pay attention to Meta Threads


Kyle Duford


Just this morning, Meta launched "Threads," their short-character social media platform targeted to replace Twitter. Here's why agencies need to jump on the platform for both themselves and their brands.

Meta Founder Mark Zuckerberg announced it at midnight. By the morning, the platform reached 10 million users. By noon, that number was up to 30 million and counting. But numbers aren't the only reason Threads matters (ahem... Google Plus had early numbers, too, but poor repeat use ended up in its demise).

Brands have also jumped on the platform early, including Lyft, McDonald's, Wendy's, Dunkin', OREOS, HBO, Warby Parker, Bonobos, and Glossier. And some celebrities have gotten their Threads accounts: Ryan Reynolds and bestie Hugh Jackson have accounts, and while OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder has an account, as of this posting Taylor Swift and U2 do not.

Celebrities and known brands aren't the sole reason for agencies to jump in, but they should want to jump in because soon many people will be in the app, posting, debating, and talking about their day or political views. Moreover, besides the burgeoning growth within the first 24 hours, you know what's coming from Meta: monetizing the app.

Today alone, Threads — aimed as a Twitter Killer — appears to have become the most rapidly downloaded app in history (previously and recently held by AI chatbot ChatGPT). At this rate, the app will exceed 100 million users within two months.

My colleagues and I have yet to see ads populate our feed of "threads," yet you know it's coming. And ads will most likely be driven by the Meta Business Manager, which controls the ad platforms and retargeting on Facebook and Instagram.

"The ease of not just creating an account, but finding your existing friends and followers makes Threads an easy way to join and quickly ramp up their follower count," says Amanda Dempsey, Social Media Manager at The Brand Leader. "That fast onboarding is attractive to social media users," she says.

Moreover, the conversation on Threads feels a lot like the conversation held on Twitter in its early days: conversation. Many brands use Twitter to accommodate customer service concerns, speak directly to customers, and announce plans or products.

With Threads, one can imagine this new channel being part of future social media planning or 360º integrated marketing campaigns. If Facebook was the backyard barbeque reserved for the older generations' worth of friends and family, and Instagram more of a visually-driven, influencer-modeled book of photos of food, travel, and influencer-based products, Twitter had always been the public relations damage control arm of the social media universe.

Since the 2016 election, polarizing topics have overrun the app with what has amounted to blue-state/red-state wars, and many brands have jettisoned their Twitter presence in response. Then, recently, Twitter owner Elon Musk put gates on the amount of content consumed on a Twitter feed, limiting the reading of posts to 10,000 per day for verified accounts and 1000 posts per day for unverified (newly verified accounts get 500 per day). People are leaving Twitter in droves, and this was on the back of a recent Pew research finding that 60% of U.S. users have taken time away from Twitter over the last year.

Between the ease of onboarding, connection to the (literal) Metaverse of Facebook and Instagram, and the future cross-platform marketing that will be available soon, start planning your next media buy with a new line-item: Threads.

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