In the ever-evolving landscape of social media platforms, the story of Threads on Instagram is a captivating one. It's a tale of soaring popularity followed by a rapid descent, raising questions about its viability and value in the world of social networking. In this blog post, we'll delve into the journey of Threads, explore its features, examine its potential for brands, and ultimately determine if it's a platform worth investing in.
What is Threads?
At its inception, Threads burst onto the scene with immense promise. Developed by Meta, the parent company of Instagram, Threads was hailed as a revolutionary tool for intimate communication and content sharing. The platform allowed users to create custom "Close Friends" lists and share photos, videos, and messages exclusively with these select individuals. It aimed to be a more focused and personal alternative to the broader Instagram feed.
The deal with Threads?
Threads made quite a splash upon its debut, attracting millions of users who were intrigued by the idea of a more private and curated social experience. However, the initial excitement was soon met with disappointment as users encountered the platform's limited functionality. Within just three weeks of its launch, Threads faced criticism and a significant drop in active daily users. The numbers spoke for themselves: from a peak of 49 million users on July 7th to a mere 11 million by July 22nd. The primary complaint was the lack of robust features, leading to an exodus of users seeking richer experiences on other platforms.
What should you expect from Threads?
In response to the dwindling demand, Meta took action by introducing several new features to Threads. The addition of "following" and "for you" feeds aimed to give users more control over their content consumption. Expanded language translation capabilities were also implemented to enhance accessibility. Importantly, Meta pledged to continuously introduce more features, promising a better overall experience. Additionally, Threads unveiled plans for a stricter moderation policy, improved verification process, and enhanced ad-buying experience to address concerns about privacy and security.
Why should brands be on Threads?
Brands can harness Threads as a powerful tool for various reasons:
Threads is an extension of Instagram. It offers a unique opportunity for brands to seamlessly integrate their Instagram content into users' Close Friends feeds in the form of a text-based narrative. This close-knit setting allows for a more personal interaction, potentially enhancing brand-customer relationships. You can also easily transfer your existing Instagram profile and followers, so there’s no need to build an entirely new audience.
Direct customer interactions
Engaging directly with customers becomes more attainable through Threads. Brands can communicate exclusive offers, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and other personalised content directly to their Close Friends, fostering a stronger sense of community.
Boost reach and shareability
With its Close Friend feature, brands have the ability to filter and categorise their content to reach a smaller, targeted audience.This concentrated exposure can increase engagement and shareability, amplifying brand messages. Additionally, well-crafted Threads content has the potential to become viral or attract substantial attention. When users find value in content, they are more likely to share it with their own followers, thus expanding the brand’s visibility and reach.
Build credibility through collaborations
Threads presents brands with a unique opportunity to partner with influencers on topics that spark engaging conversations. This presents an invaluable chance for brands not only to gain insights into consumer sentiments but also to leverage these insights for tailoring their future marketing endeavours, making it a golden opportunity for meaningful engagement and personalisation.
Privacy and security
Threads' dedication to privacy and security can appeal to brands looking to protect their content and establish trust with their audience. Its privacy settings allow you to control who can interact with you and the option to filter out certain words from your replies. The promise of a stricter moderation policy and improved verification process can further enhance this appeal.
How are brands and influencers using Threads?
Customised “Close Friends”
Brands are leveraging the customisable nature of Close Friends lists to create tailored content for different segments of their audience. This approach allows for targeted messaging and a more personal touch.
Brands have the ability to inspire users to create and share content related to their branded offerings. This user-generated content (UGC) can take on various forms, such as endorsements, critiques, or artistic expressions, all aimed at amplifying the brand's message.
Through UGC, brands not only amplify their own voice but also tap into the collective voice of their audience, encouraging them to actively participate and share content. This approach fosters brand loyalty, generates excitement, and creates a buzz around the brand.
Creating authentic and personalised content
Threads' intimate setting encourages brands to showcase their human side. By sharing authentic stories, day-to-day moments, and relatable experiences, brands can establish deeper connections with their audience.
Gathering audience insights
Direct interactions on Threads provide valuable insights into customer preferences, pain points, and aspirations. Brands can use this feedback to refine their strategies and offerings.
Conversations and direct messaging
The platform's messaging capabilities enable brands to engage in one-on-one conversations with customers, addressing queries, concerns, and feedback in a personal manner.
Leveraging various content formats
From photos and videos to text-based updates, Threads accommodates various content formats. This versatility allows brands to experiment with diverse storytelling methods.
By repurposing content from other platforms for Threads' Close Friends, brands can maintain consistency across their online presence while tailoring content to fit the platform's unique vibe.
Is Threads worth it for your business?
While the journey of Threads has encountered bumps along the way, its value for businesses is not to be dismissed outright. Much like the trajectory of TikTok, which initially faced scepticism from brands and marketers, Threads has the potential to evolve into a robust advertising platform. To capitalise on potential future advertising opportunities, establishing an organic presence on Threads in advance is advisable. Just as TikTok proved its worth to brands over time, Threads could follow a similar trajectory of growth, especially among influencers and ads.
In conclusion, the rise and fall of Threads is a testament to the ever-changing dynamics of social media platforms. The platform's journey reflects the importance of continually adapting to user demands and preferences. For brands willing to invest time and effort, Threads could hold promise as a unique channel for fostering deeper connections and meaningful engagement with their audience.