Threads is the newest social media platform brought to the world by Meta. It was released earlier in July, and if you believe a heavily reported SimilarWeb report (or this Medium post) you might think Threads is already “dead on arrival” after just a few weeks.
But you shouldn’t count Threads out just yet, in our view.
We’ve learned a thing or two after almost a month using the application, and we see value there. Fullintel recently was invited to share our experience by hosting a Masterclass on Threads – the first of its kind – with PWorld. We sure learned a lot and wanted to share more about what we discovered and why we think Threads is already a force to be reckoned with.
The 7 Main Reasons Why Threads Has Staying Power
1. The “Cage Match” Will Last Years: You’ve probably read some of those viral stories about a dust-up between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, right? Well, data doesn’t lie and the cage match is still on – only instead of punches and kicks, this is a battle destined to be fought with website traffic.
When you pair this with major revenue challenges X Corp. (Twitter Inc.’s successor) appears to be facing, with Musk himself describing an ad revenue drop-off of 50 percent – then X Corp. has a monumental hill to climb.
Threads doesn’t have an ad platform, but Meta’s relatively solid financial foundation means it can build features to drive user adoption over a long period of time.
Meanwhile, we don’t know what sort of runway X Corp. has, but it doesn’t look great.
2. Users Are Fickle: Today’s social mavens have more options about where they engage than ever before: Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, Discord, Roblox, whatever – there is more to do on the Internet and on our phones than ever before.
Demographically, Twitter leads (at least proportionally) among Gen Z men and young adults, but they’re certainly not married to the platform. If Threads does a good enough job replicating (and improving on) Twitter’s features and conversational bent, then those users could migrate quickly.
While we don’t know Threads’ demographic base, and it is far too early to know what it will be in a few years, if the platform’s goal is to leach traffic from Twitter’s audience a few points in Threads’ benefit could make a huge impact.
3. Meta’s 3 Billion Users are Largely Untapped: Meta is a corporation so powerful that governments struggle to regulate or tax it. It has been accused of brainwashing young people, impacting democracy, and increasing anxiety among basically everyone. And it was recently reported that around 40 percent of the entire freaking world is on Facebook.
When Meta wants a user to do something it has more tools in its belt than any organization in the world. More than 117 million users have downloaded Threads, at least as of this week, which only accounts for about five percent of Instagram’s user base – and that’s not even counting the 3B Facebook users, or 2.7B Whatsapp users (all owned by Meta).
4. Eyeballs and Data Define The Prize: With so many users on different platforms, Threads can use these secondary services to almost limitless volumes of new users. Data around average user time tells us the average user spends more time on Meta’s platforms than anywhere else. Stealing a few minutes here or there from Twitter will only further Meta’s advantages, even if it doesn’t kill Twitter (so to speak).
5. Brand Safety Opportunity: Threads can position itself as a safer, less toxic alternative to Twitter. It can make choices on how much hate speech it enables on its platform, or even how much adult content is shared. What kind of content social channels choose to block or enable speaks volumes around their ad safety and content moderation abilities, and Threads has time to make these choices in concert with its new user base.
6. Threads is Still A Giant Open Beta: Meta doesn’t seem to have slowed its development of Threads. Dissenting opinions ignore the fact that Threads can use Meta’s vast resources to improve, change, and use its full user base to bring more active users. When a company releases major updates every week, they usually also have a plan to bring more people into their environments.
7. Key Influencers Drawing Strong Engagement: If Threads is to make a real dent in Twitter’s popularity it has to demonstrate that it can drive engagement and activity on its platform to key influencers. When we look at President Obama’s Threads account we can see direct comparisons with Twitter. His annual summer reading list is always popular, and on Threads he’s attracting about 40 percent of engagement with that list. Threads is just three weeks old and is now driving 40 percent of the engagement to Obama’s Twitter account, which has been running since 2007.
Whether you’re an agency or brand curious about how to use Threads to your advantage, or an individual who wants to learn more about this emerging platform, you can contact our team at Fullintel for access to our Virtual PR Masterclass on Threads.