We all remember that one kid who would show up late to class, ask his buddies for copies of their notes, forget to study for any test, and somehow ace the semester with ease, gliding his way into Ivy League collegiate glory. Maybe, this person was an albatross of sorts— a foreboding sign to you that life has never been and will never be fair.
Well, welcome to the real world, kid. And you’re living in the darkest timeline where two spoiled, self-entitled billionaires that were never taught the currency of empathy battle it out to determine which one has the larger— well, uh… let’s just say the larger amount of generational trauma between them.
One billionaire destroys a middling form of social media while the other copies his homework and claims it as his own. Does anyone really win in this story?
Welcome to Threads, the app that no one asked for or wanted. Do you like Twitter?
Then how would you like a second Twitter where you can do the exact same thing as the other Twitter, only different?
Instead of Tweeting, you can reap what you SewTM!
Instead of shitposting, you can shitpost harder!
And instead of 2.5-minute long videos— you can post a whole 5 minutes worth of short-form videos (that’s almost an entire Tubi episode!)!
Like lemmings, we all jumped aboard the freight train that was the release of Threads— but is this platform that’s enough to make Kendall Roy’s Living+ facility look like a work of genius doomed to fall off a cliff, or are we simply doomed to doomscroll our lives into the abyss that is an antisocial billionaire’s nightmarish version of social connection?
Is Threads even worth bothering with, or is it ultimately bound to go the way of apps like Google+, Vine, YikYak, and MySpace? Because, my friends, there’s only so much room left to mourn the digital world’s latest victims (and we’re still coping with the loss of MySpace and Xanga, TBH).
Let’s unpack what the latest launch of Zuckerburg’s copycat Twitter app means for your business and if it’s even worth considering as a comprehensive part of your social media strategy.
What is Threads?
Threads is like that telephone game you used to play when you were a child— one person whispers a phrase into your ear, and then you pass it down the line until the phrase “hot crossed buns see how they run” becomes “pot flossed runs, three cows love guns.” Only this time, one millionaire took another millionaire’s web developers and had them recreate an app using similar code.
Threads, according to Threads, is an app “built by the Instagram team for sharing text updates and joining public conversations. You can log into it using your Instagram account, and posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes in length.”
So… yeah. It’s basically just Twitter but with slightly lengthier features. As of yet, Threads’ creators haven’t implemented (or shall we say, “figured out how to replicate”) the “follow” feature, so unlike Twitter, there isn’t a curated news feed comprised of a user’s followers.
Regardless, Threads has yet to offer a unique value proposition for its users that’s different from anything that Twitter currently offers, and according to Fortune.com, it’s also lost half of its active users in less than a week since its media-blitzkrieg of a launch. And in case you didn’t know, a Threads account cannot truly be deleted unless one deletes their entire Instagram account (only deactivated)… so any statistics Meta wishes to publicize may be prone to manipulation. Which Meta would never do, would they…?
Without a clear reason for existing other than a billionaire’s personal quest to troll a fellow troll (game recognizes game, Musky), Threads’ entire viability truly hangs in the balance of whether or not the Zuck chooses to differentiate it in some way, shape, or form from Twitter.
Otherwise, other than ego, greed, and mommy issues… why?
How Can Threads Benefit Small Businesses?
So before you sell everything and pack up your Twitter bags to migrate all of your threads over to Threads, take a deep breath, sit back, and relax a bit. Currently, your best bet is to see how this whole thing plays out.
Besides, it’s not like Instagram didn’t already kill off an app called Threads a few years ago, anyway… so maybe it’s best to give that app some grieving time before jumping into a new one (out of respect for the victim).
And speaking of past failures, Facebook has had its own set of failed endeavors too, starting with the horror show that was their dating app (a truly terrifying experience for any woman) and their brief foray into mobile-tainment programming that was “Facebook Watch.”
Despite the early fuss over Threads, it’s too soon to tell if the app truly has any staying power. After all, it’s such a carbon copy of Twitter that there’s no clear advantage to using the app at the current moment.
However, that doesn’t mean that things won’t change. The one thing that Meta succeeds at that Twitter doesn’t is paid advertising and cross-platform integration. So, don’t discount the fact that users may find it easier to post on Threads through future integrations via Facebook or Instagram. And don’t discount the fact that paid advertising and catering to marketers may be a future game changer for Threads one day.
Will Social Media Fatigue Kill Threads?
Fads wear thin. And we all know the internet has the memory of a clownfish when it comes to keeping track of things they’ve canceled, so who knows how long people will rebel against Elon’s ownership of Twitter (because, at the core, that seems to be what Threads is hoping to monopolize on). Being a giant media conglomerate also isn’t proof of success; it’s simply proof that a platform has substantial financial backing. Can you say “Google Plus,” “Amazon Fire Phone,” or “Tubi”?
While users want to be entertained, do any of us still have the mental capacity for an app that brings nothing new or novel to the table? More importantly, do marketers want to invest in yet another social media platform when they’re already stretched thin amongst the spread of TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook?
Perhaps if Threads can find a way to implement paid advertising in a way that Twitter can’t, it may prove more enticing and offer some faint glimmer of monetizable value. But for now, it’s just kind of there. And honestly, there’s better programming on Twitter already.
Should I Create a Threads Account for My Business?
While there’s certainly no harm in creating a Threads account, there’s also no grand reason at the moment to invest too much time or effort into it. At least, not until Threads develops into something that is in some way, shape, or form distinguishable from Twitter.
In other words, keep one eye open, don’t sleep on it, but don’t fret about it too much, either. If Twitter is your main platform, then it’s wise to go ahead and invest in a Threads account. But if Twitter isn’t your social platform of choice, then Threads probably won’t offer you much ROI at the moment.
If you do choose to create a Threads account, then at the very least, have something to say and find subtle ways to differentiate it from your Twitter account; otherwise, what’s the point?
Consider airing the short-form content that’s too long to put on TikTok, Instagram, or Twitter on your Threads account. And make sure, above all else, that you’re there to entertain, educate, or offer a unique viewpoint that your audience can’t find anywhere else.
So to all of the teachers who taught us millennials that plagiarism never pays off… Mark Zuckerberg would beg to differ.
And if you, dear reader, just like the rest of every marketer out there, are simply too tired to deal with yet another digital void we like to call social media, then welcome to the club!
But in the meantime, if you’d like to dip your toes into the world of Threads, we’re here to help you devise a strategy that works best without spreading your resources too thin.
So if you’re ready to be plugged into the wubbulous world of Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse, we’ll make sure we slip you that blue pill so you’ll never have to live a day without going unplugged.
To talk shop and create a strategy best suited to your business’s objectives, schedule a free consultation with our marketing team.