Ever wake up to a whole new social platform? Meta launched Threads, a powerful new competitor to Twitter, a day earlier than expected on Wednesday, July 5.
What is it? Threads is a text-based social media app available to users in 100 countries. Within 7 hours of launch, 10 million people signed up for the app, including brands such as Procter & Gamble and Ford. Notably, the app is currently unavailable in the European Union because Meta is being preemptively cautious of launching in the EU due to its strict privacy regulations. Meta has not shared a launch date for Threads in the EU yet
How can you sign up? Users can sign up via their Instagram accounts. Upon a full worldwide launch, more than 2 billion monthly active users may import their accounts into Threads. Users can also sign up by downloading the Threads app via the App Store and Google Play Store.
What can be shared in a Threads post? Posts on Threads can include text up to 500 characters, links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes in length.
How similar is Threads to Twitter? Most of the app’s features mimic Twitter (such as a scrollable feed and short-form text). However, Threads’ interface design resembles Instagram’s, featuring similarly placed tabs and the same heart, comment and share buttons.
How connected are Threads and Instagram? Threads users who already have Instagram accounts must retain the same username but are able to use a different bio and link to their profiles. Verified users can take their checkmarks from Instagram to Threads. Users can also bulk-follow all accounts they already follow on Instagram (this includes pre-following those who have not yet joined Threads). Importantly, if a Threads user who has signed up for Threads via their Instagram account wants to delete their Threads account, they will also delete their linked Instagram account.
Can you buy ads on Threads? While you cannot yet buy ads on Threads, advertisers are watching closely as it is likely only a matter of time before the platform is integrated into Meta Business Suite.
What is the connection between Threads and ActivityPub? Meta is planning for Threads to be compatible with ActivityPub, a decentralized social networking protocol, part of a new and rising movement, also known as the Fediverse which allows information to flow between social media platforms and other services. If the ActivityPub protocol is successful, those using Threads could follow and be followed by users from other platforms.
In the chaos surrounding Elon Musk’s Twitter, Meta has perhaps found a way for text-based platforms to rise from the ashes. With potential users in the multibillions and their penchant for crushing competition, Meta is attempting to capitalize on the exodus of users from Twitter while embracing the new trend of decentralized social networking we’ve seen from other Twitter rivals like Mastodon. We also expect Meta to wait until a critical mass of users have joined Threads before rolling out advertising capabilities, which could offer potentially safer ad placements than Twitter. Large brands are already joining, making it clear that Threads has commercial and brand value, and could become a major player in the social landscape. It’s critical for brands to join Threads as soon as possible and begin building their presence.
by Lara Graulich, account executive