Threads – the new twitter?

6 July 2023 3 min read
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Untangling Threads – What you need to know about the “new twitter” 

It’s official, Facebook/Meta’s new ‘twitter killer’ is here, and it’s called Threads. Wondering if Threads is just ‘sew-sew’? Here’s everything you need to know so far about the new social media platform.  

The first few hours and days of any new platform can be the most telling. Meta, the company also behind Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram, has reported rapid uptake of Threads in just the first few hours, after going live across 100 countries, including the UK at midnight on 6th July. 

But, Threads was originally launched as a rival to Snapchat in 2019, and despite a revamp in 2020, it didn’t manage to achieve mainstream adoption before being officially shut down in 2021. The relaunch of Threads as a competitor to twitter is the latest in a rivalry between Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg and twitter owner Elon Musk. So how does it compare?

It’s like twitter… but it works!

Threads is a conversational platform powered by Instagram. This clever move means you can very quickly get up and running on the app by using your Insta details to login, import your profile and follow all the accounts you already follow on Instagram. 

It feels very similar to twitter. Threads is a deliberate disruptor of the status quo. However, one of the main differences is that there are no hashtags, so the search facility to find new opinions or news is limited compared to twitter. So, you’ll need to actively seek out new people whose opinions you want to hear. 

Many feel twitter has become a toxic place, and the lack of hashtags seems like a very conscious move to combat this. There are also clever features such as ‘hidden words’ that each user can set, so that any posts, or comments containing your hidden words will be hidden from you – and from all other viewers in the case of comments on your posts. Will this prove a barrier to trolls? Only time will tell. 

Threads has a very simple interface that allows you to write posts with up to 500 characters. One of the main reasons new social platforms often fail, (we’re looking at you Google+ 👀), is because the interface is too clunky. twitter itself can often be glitchy and unreliable and this has been, famously, getting a lot worse over recent months. Most people are praising how easy it is to get started on Threads. There’s an optimistic vibe to initial posts, and a sense of hope that Threads will be like twitter back in the ‘good old days’ when it was a fun and nice place to be.

What is it for?

Threads is about having conversations. From what we can see so far, it is about embracing the back and forth, and it’s encouraging witty replies and banter between users and brands. It’s more about lighthearted chat amongst friends and less about political opinions and  controversy. 

Instagram describes Threads as an app for sharing text updates and joining public conversations. You can still share images, links and videos but the real focus is on the words and the connections.

Who is it for?

Threads is primarily focused on consumers, but it could be interesting for businesses, after all, B2B people are people too. As with all social media, if you can offer thought-provoking, relevant and educational insight then you can build a relationship with your followers. Whilst we don’t predict that this will replace LinkedIn, it is definitely worth having a look at. 

Currently,  Meta doesn’t have any plans to monetise Threads by offering advertising until at least next year. This approach is similar to that of BeReal, which is one of the most recent social media app success stories. BeReal now has 10 million daily users. This could well be a smart move from Threads – with Meta backing meaning there is a long runway for growth.

Should you try it?

In a word, yes! The social media landscape is changing all the time. Something we’ve seen again and again is that, when a new platform really flies (think TikTok), it’s the early adopters that benefit the most. This could be you. 

Download Threads from Google Play Store or IOS App Store. Be sure to give @weare_ys a follow while you’re there!