Should Businesses Be On Threads?

Should businesses be on Threads?

Meta’s new social media application—Threads—launched this week. The app, which is thus far only available on smartphones, is the social media giant’s attempt to offer a competitor to Twitter.

As of Friday morning, it already claims to have 50 million users. According to Slate, because setting up an account can only be done via Instagram, “this new app will have tonnage that no new competitor can match.”

Many of our clients have asked us: Should our business be on Threads

Here’s a brief summary of Threads, followed by the advice we’re giving to our clients. 

How Is Threads Different Than Twitter?

Think of Threads as a stripped-down version of Twitter: it’s a microblogging app that allows users to publish “threads” of comments in 500-word posts that can include photos and videos. But as of yet, there is no hashtag feature, trending topics, or edit function.

Per The Washington Post: “[T]here’s no way to make Threads show you only the posts from accounts you’ve chosen to follow. There’s also no way to make your feed ordered chronologically—instead, it’s organized by what the Threads algorithm thinks you might find most interesting.”

In addition, “Threads will apply the same content rules that currently exist on Instagram. That means users on Threads won’t be able to praise terrorist or hate groups, buy firearms or make threats against people or groups. Users under 16 are also automatically defaulted into a private account. And Threads will allow users to limit replies to their threads to only people that they follow or mentioned in the thread.”

Verification of businesses and high-profile individuals appears to have been migrated from Instagram, so that seems the most reliable (and seemingly only) way to verify a Threads account.

Threads does not currently offer a way to run ads or boost posts, but I suspect that such a feature will be coming relatively soon. I also would guess that an advertising interface will eventually be available as part of Meta’s Business Suite.

Finally, Meta has tied the use of Threads tightly to Instagram. Its privacy policy for Threads explains, “You may deactivate your Threads profile at any time, but your Threads profile can only be deleted by deleting your Instagram account.” [emphasis mine]

Pierpont’s Recommendations

It’s not clear how “sticky” Threads will be to individuals or businesses. Some organizations—including Spotify, Netflix, The New York Times and Ford Motor Company—have already joined Threads, as have some influencers, such as Kylie Jenner.

Should other businesses join Threads? I recommend answering the following questions:

– Has your business benefited from Twitter in the past? If so, has your experience on Twitter eroded or stagnated in the last six months? Could your business benefit from a Twitter alternative?

If yes is the answer to these questions, then ask the following:

– Does your business have an existing Instagram account?

If the answer is yes, then transitioning to Threads will be relatively simple.

Before transitioning from Instagram to Threads, however, note that your business’ Instagram handle determines your Threads handle. That means that businesses shouldn’t have to worry about an online squatter claiming your handle on Threads (if you already own it on Instagram). So you don’t have to rush to join Threads.

Some businesses—as noted by the examples above—have already decided that it makes sense to claim an account on Threads.

But for other businesses, there may be hesitation. Part of that hesitation may be because you can’t delete a Threads account without doing the same for your Instagram account. The inverse may also give pause: if your business doesn’t have an Instagram account, you’ll need one to establish a presence on Threads.

For those in the “watchful waiting” category, I recommend deputizing a member of your social media team to set up a personal Threads account, research how this new app evolves, and track the actions of your peers and competitors. Remember, it’s a very new social media channel and much can change very quickly.

If you’d like to talk through the pros and cons of joining Threads, you can connect with me via our contact form

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