A close up of someone holding a phone with Meta's app, Threads, on the screen. Photo by Azamat E on Unsplash

Social media was recently introduced to a new social media platform from Mark Zuckerberg’s team at Instagram: Threads. 

Called the “Twitter killer” app, Threads serves as Meta’s text-based platform, launched amidst the continued disarray at Twitter since Elon Musk had taken over the company in October 2022. 

Threads, which launched on July 6, has already accumulated more than 100 million active users within weeks — an impressive number, even for Meta. However, the platform is quickly seeing daily traffic fluctuate and fall off.

But before diving into the practicality of Threads for business and specifically B2B, let’s start with the basics.

How to Use Threads

If you or your business already has established Meta accounts, signing up for Threads is easy; the platform can be tied directly to an existing Instagram account. After downloading Threads (an Instagram app), new users are prompted to sign in with their existing Instagram account.  

When it comes to privacy, like many other apps, users can set accounts to public or private. This option is separate from existing Instagram settings. But one of the integrations with Instagram that sets Threads apart from other platforms is the ability to import followers, i.e., you don’t have to gain followers from scratch.  

Users will quickly learn how to navigate the Home feed. It features content posts and replies from followers as well as popular Threads from unknown accounts, similar to the Discover or Suggested for You features used on other Meta platforms.

And just like Instagram, tapping the heart icon next to a post signifies a user like. Threads also offers options to repost, quote or comment on a thread, similar to how someone would engage with a tweet. But Threads takes it a step further with cross-posting, giving users the abilities to share directly to their Instagram story and/or Twitter feed.  

Several brands, from sports teams to restaurants to business corporations, are already successfully using features from the platform. Below are some initial Threads from corporate brands. Each is an example of how companies are catering to their existing social media audiences.

IBM Threads post: Sorry we're late. Had a few qubits and algorithms to sort out.
Wendy's Threads post: We decided we're calling these threats. Get on board or get out of the way.
Hubspot Threads post: pov: you're a social media manager enjoying a global week of rest but there's a new app. With a photo of a business man at the beach laying in the ocean with his laptop.

My Initial Thoughts on Threads: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Although I enjoyed exploring the app, my first impression wasn’t entirely positive. I quickly felt Threads leaves a lot to be desired, almost as if things were missing from the platform. For instance:

  • As a social media manager, I was very optimistic for an edit button, yet it lacks one. 
  • The Threads feed is not displayed in chronological order. 
    • Meta’s other platforms have chronological feed options, but Threads does not. 
    • Also, search is (for lack of a better word) non-existent.
      • This has major implications when it comes to social listening, searching keywords, following conversations, or even looking at hashtags.
      • Speaking of hashtags, did we mention that they ARE NOT a function of this platform?

In its current state, it’s difficult to predict what advertising may look like in the future on Threads. Although I haven’t seen ads on my feed yet, this may inevitably change. For now, following individual creators, celebrities and friends seems to be Meta’s current focus. After some exploration, I started to receive targeted suggestions for celebrities related to my Instagram followings. But there were also some frustrating suggestions and user experience problems to work through, leading me to believe that the algorithm is still being fine-tuned for follower and account suggestions. Luckily though, connections who I engage with most appear on my feed frequently, which is refreshing when comparing Threads to other social media feeds.   

But it’s important to remember that Threads is relatively new; any negatives at this stage should not necessarily deter potential new users. From a user experience perspective, I understood quickly how to engage, as the platform shares a similar look and feel with its competitors (e.g., Twitter).

Twitter vs. Threads

With so many similarities to Twitter, the new “Twitter killer” app is already experiencing legal accusations, including threats to sue Meta for stealing trade secrets by employing former Twitter employees. 

These threats come after lawsuits accusing Twitter and Elon Musk of violating a federal law related to employee benefits. However, businesses and individuals have existing relationships on Twitter that they are not willing to cease just yet, so they are continuing to use the app.  

Threads enters the social media realm positioned organically by users as an alternative to Twitter, all while loyal Twitter users still navigate the platform’s ongoing security issues and unpredictability. However, Instagram’s CEO Adam Mosseri recently addressed the goal of Threads in a “threat” (this is what Wendy’s is calling it):  

Tweet from @mosseri: The goal isn’t to replace Twitter. The goal is to create a public square for communities on Instagram that never really embraced Twitter and for the communities on Twitter (and other platforms) that are interested in a less angry place for conversations, but not all of Twitter. Politics and hard news are inevitably going to show up on Threads - they have on Instagram as well to some extent - but we’re not going to do anything to encourage those verticals.

In addition to not yet having paid ads on the platform, there are no direct messaging features, live audio rooms, trending topics, or the ability to post lengthy videos. The character limit on Threads is 500, nearly doubling that of Twitter’s 280. And like many features seamlessly integrated from existing Instagram accounts, a verification mark on Instagram also means a verification mark on Threads.

B2B Marketing on Threads

And of course, with any new, social media platform hitting the market, you’re likely to wonder, “Should my brand have a presence on Threads?” 

In its current state, it’s hard to say. Threads is incredibly new. I suspect that more functionalities will roll out as the public provides feedback, the algorithm gets further developed, and Meta’s developers begin to understand how users want to engage. 

If you currently have Instagram, consider claiming your username and experiment with posting. If you need help getting started, this quick guide from social media influencer Jack Appleby explains the easy sign-up process.  

At its core, Threads is a text-based platform for conversations and communities. However, that isn’t to say you can’t use media like images and video on it. Consider expanding your following outside of your existing Instagram community too.   

Even though Threads is new, it may be an ideal platform to experiment with and develop a social media strategy for your brand.