What is Meta's new app, Threads? An Instagram Threads Review
On 5 July 2023, Meta (who also owns Facebook and Instagram) launched Threads.
In my world, this new app was massive news! Why?
Well firstly, any new app rolled out by the biggest player in social media - Meta - is worth checking out. But secondly, Threads has been on my radar for a long time with lots of leaked information floating around for the past few months. And with each sneak peek, it seemed that Meta was creating something very similar to another social media app: Twitter.
As you're probably aware, Twitter is owned by Elon Musk. Since purchasing the social media platform in 2022, Elon hasn't done a fantastic job in the driver's seat. Trust in the platform has dropped, ad spend is predicted to be down around 28% and users have been closing their accounts left, right and centre!
If you have spent any time on Twitter you may have noticed that it's a little different to platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Twitter focuses largely on short, text-based content while the other apps lean more into video content. So with confidence in Twitter at an all-time low, there appeared to be an opportunity for a new platform to take its place.
What is Meta Threads?
Threads is an app, built by the Instagram team, designed for sharing text updates and joining in public conversations.
The key word here is 'conversations'.
As business owners, we often think of social media platforms as a way to broadcast - to share our message with a large audience. We stand up on our soap box and we shout our message out to the masses.
Threads is about having conversations. Yes, that can be with many people at once, but it does have a much more intimate feel than other social media platforms.
The key here is to act as if you are talking to real people. Share your thoughts, your opinions and expect to have others respond. And then you will respond to their responses. This forms a 'Thread' - get it?
Some key things you should know about Meta Threads:
- Each post on Threads can have up to 500 characters including spaces
- At the time of writing this blog, you can only search for accounts, not topics or keywords
- Also at the time of writing this blog, hashtags don't work on the platform - they are not clickable, searchable and you can't follow them
- You can include up to 10 photos or 10 videos in your posts (up to 5 minutes in length)
- You CAN'T edit a Thread once it's posted but you can delete it
- Unlike Instagram, links ARE clickable!
- There is currently no DM or direct message feature on Threads.
- Threads is the fastest growing app in history, gaining over 100 million users is just 5 days!
How do you join or sign up for Meta Threads?
If you're already using Instagram it's super simple to get started with Threads. Start by downloading the Threads app from your usual app store (yes, Meta Threads is free) then you simply log in using your Instagram account.
You can choose to keep the same username as you have already on Instagram as well as pull through your profile image, your bio and the link in your bio. And if you're verified on Instagram, your verification tick will carry over also. It couldn't be easier to get started!
And you can choose to follow the same accounts you do on Instagram, so you have a 'ready-made' network on the platform.
If you don't have an Instagram account you will need to create one before you can sign up for Threads.
How do you use Threads? How does Threads work?
You will see a home tab, much like other social media platforms. This will show you your feed.
Your feed on Threads includes threads posted by people you follow and recommended content from new creators you haven’t discovered yet.
You can like any post you see in your feed by clicking on the heart or you can comment on a post by clicking on the conversation bubble and typing your reply.
To create your own post, simply click on the pen and paper icon at the bottom of the app.
The magnifying glass will let you search for other accounts.
The heart will show you your activity including when someone has mentioned you (using the @ symbol then typing your username) and when someone has replied to one of your posts.
The profile icon (little head and shoulders) will take you to your own profile.
Should I be using Threads for my Business?
This is a really great question.
As mentioned above, the key to Threads is conversation. So if you're going to use it to simply repurpose your content, posting exactly what you're posting on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok - you may be wasting your time.
Instead, you are best to view Threads as an opportunity to start meaningful conversations with both potential and existing customers.
What do I mean by that?
Imagine your business is a person. (In my case this is very easy as my business is me!)
Now imagine this person (your business) has lots of thoughts.
Thoughts about what they find interesting. What is important to them (their values). What they find funny. What they see happening around them (industry insights).
THIS is the stuff you should be sharing on your Threads business account.
Short, thoughtful or entertaining updates.
You should also be asking questions. Sparking conversations and debates (friendly ones, of course).
The platform is called Threads, which is another term for an online conversation. So remember to approach it like an online conversation.
And as an added bonus: If you have an existing following on Instagram you will find it much faster than other platforms to grow your audience. This is due to the fact that many users choose to automatically follow accounts on Threads that they are already following on Instagram.
Can I schedule posts to Threads?
No, you can't currently schedule posts in advance to Threads. Meta has not yet given third-party access to the Threads API meaning that social media scheduling apps don't have access to connect their software to Threads. And Threads doesn't have an in-built or native scheduling feature.
Can I have multiple Threads accounts?
Just like Instagram, you can have multiple Threads accounts. You will need to create the accounts on Instagram first then in Threads you simply log out of one account and then log in to the other.
It's not quite as easy to switch between accounts as it is on Instagram but it is still very straightforward.
Are Instagram Threads public?
You can choose whether or not to have a public account or a private account. If you are under 16 (or in some countries, under 18) your Meta Threads account will be set to private by default.
To check your privacy settings on Threads click on the two lines at the top right of your profile and select Privacy. Here you can toggle between a public and a private account.
Can Meta threads be used on desktop?
At the time of writing this blog, no - Meta Threads can not be used on desktop.
How many users are there on Threads?
At the time of writing this blog, there are more than 100 million users on the platform. Meta Threads reached 100 million users within just 5 days of launching, making it the fastest-growing social media platform in history.
What's next for Threads?
Meta has announced that it is working on making Threads compatible with ActivityPub, a social networking protocol supported by various apps like Mastodon and WordPress.
This will enable new connections that are not possible on most social apps today.
ActivityPub is an open social networking protocol developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It allows different social networking platforms and apps to communicate and interact with each other in a decentralised manner.
By using ActivityPub, users can connect, follow, and share content across multiple platforms. It means that you can interact across platforms and gives you the freedom and choice in selecting your preferred social media platforms.
Let's connect on Threads!
Have you joined the world of Threads? If so, let's continue this conversation over there! Come and find me @socialsmarty.co
If you want to continue the conversation come and find me on Instagram:
Get the good stuff delivered straight to your inbox.
Social media moves fast, but don’t worry I stay one step ahead, so you don’t have to.
Be the first to know about all the latest social media news, tips, interesting internet finds and the latest updates on what’s on offer from me.
I hate SPAM. I will never sell your information, for any reason.