New Twitter? Are you ‘Thready’ for it?

New Twitter? Are you ‘Thready’ for it?

By Jennifer Lanier and Laura Haynes
July 7, 2023

Let’s Unravel

We all felt the knife twist a little bit in Elon’s side yesterday when Meta launched Threads, a day prior to its scheduled live date and just a few short days after Musk imposed a 600-tweet reading limit on all unverified users. Even Linda Yaccarino couldn’t smooth that one over.   

As Twitter’s closest competitor (sorry Reddit), Threads is certainly making a dent as it enters the chat. For starters, 30 million sign-ups in the first 24 hours is a strong start. But the real kicker is the amount of chatter about Threads on Twitter. Tough day to have the last name Musk.  

If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably spent the last 24 hours scrolling through the app (can’t wait to see how much everyone’s screen time jumps this week). It’s always fun to be a part of one of those particularly poignant moments in history when the internet seems unified behind a fun, shiny new element – a feeling perhaps not felt since the first week of Wordle or Pokémon Go. 

And it’s not just individual users – brands aren’t missing a beat in getting involved. Many have already started moving their regularly scheduled content onto Threads. And while it may take a few weeks for the ~ViBe~ of the platform to solidify, why shouldn’t brands go ahead and get their feet wet? After all, it’s a simplistic and familiar format. Here are a few nuggets to keep in mind while crafting your brand’s organic content: 

  • Its direct connection to Instagram allows the importing of profiles and followers, which makes setting up a new account easy. Go on, setting up your profile is a breeze. 
  • Users are allotted 500 characters, which gives you a little more breathing room than Twitter’s 280-character limit. Doesn’t mean you have to use ALL of them (please).  
  • You can include photos and videos in your original posts and replies. As always, creative graphics help grab users’ attention as they scroll through their feed. Many brands are having a field day with the potential, so now is your chance to persuade your boss it’s OK to take risks. 
  • You can include web links directly in your posts. This is a far cry from Instagram’s inability to link directly in a post (hashtag link in bio), but Threads pole-vaulted over that familiar hurdle.  
  • No hashtags here! You can use them, but they don’t give you the opportunity to explore the way you can on other platforms, meaning they may not play into any sort of curated feed in the future. 
  • Your posts won’t necessarily show up in your followers’ feeds. As of now, everyone’s feed is a mixture of accounts you follow and accounts you may like. In addition, there’s no sense of chronological order, so don’t anticipate any “live” updates (what are we calling posts here – threading? knitting?) in the foreseeable future. According to Instagram, a “followed-accounts only” feed is on the list for future enhancements. 
  • As far as audiences go, expect Threads to trend a bit younger than Twitter, reflecting the demographic currently on Instagram. It seems likely that older audiences will remain on Facebook and Twitter to avoid learning yet another social platform – at least for now. 

Last, no ads for now. Refreshing, anyone? At launch, Meta’s focus is on experience and creating a platform that will have users engaging and returning. New platforms always take time to build community and trust and gain an understanding of who their audiences are.  

When ads do become available, it’ll likely waterfall from the biggest profiles first. Years ago, when Instagram ads launched for the first time, tracking was nearly non-existent. Meta has come a long way since then, so expect a sophisticated ad product, complete with engagement reporting. 

If you are currently running Twitter ads, keep an eye on your results. Audiences may move around over the next few weeks and months, and you’ll want your ad spend to follow. 

The main point? Creative communities, rejoice. This is an experimentation moment. Rarely are marketers free from the stresses of picky algorithms, advertising and analytics. We’ll continue to unravel (heh) more tips and tricks as we learn more.