Instagram Threads: What We Know So far. Credit: Detail and Avedia

Instagram Threads: What We Know So Far and Should You Be On It?

Instagram Threads is the latest social media platform to disrupt the online space in 2023 with over thirty million user sign-ups in less than twenty-four hours of its launch.

“Wow, 39 million sign-ups as of this morning. Feels like the beginning of something special, but we have got a lot of work ahead to build up the app,” wrote Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta which owns Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and now Threads on July 8.

Threads is a text-based version of the photo-sharing app, Instagram designed for real-time updates and public conversations. 

We will share with you what we’ve been able to understand about this emerging platform and what it portends for digital marketing so you might want to keep reading this till the end.

Let’s start with a basic explanation of Threads.

What is the Threads app about?

According to Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri, Threads was built by the Instagram team for text updates and joining public conversations, adding that the focus is on the creator communities that already enjoy Instagram.

And because it is directly linked to your Instagram account, you get a feed similar to Instagram from which you can see the threads of the accounts you follow and the creators that the algorithm pushes forward based on their suggestions on your likes.

You get 500 characters per thread and you can add photos, videos or links. 

The history behind the name

The name itself, ‘Threads’ is familiar. In 2019, Instagram launched a product named Threads which was supposed to be a “camera-first messaging app that helps you stay connected to your close friends.”

This 2023 app called Threads has a different purpose and interface and the older product was discontinued in December 2021. 

Controversy with Twitter following Elon Musk’s changes 

Shortly after the launch of Threads, it was reported that it is an imitation of Twitter due to the changes made by Twitter CEO, Elon Musk. The media dubbed Threads as a ‘Twitter killer’ as well as a ‘Twitter clone’.

However, in a Threads interaction with The Verge’s editor Alex Heath on Sunday, Mosseri said that the new platform’s goal was to make a “public square” for Instagram communities that did not “embrace” Twitter, or serve communities which wanted a less angry space for interactions.

“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,” he said in his Threads reply.

Should digital marketers invest in Instagram Threads?

The question on everyone’s lips at this point is: should you be on the Threads app to capture a wider audience? Twitter and Instagram already offer marketers valuable tools for audience analysis and content assessment. Marketers are, therefore, able to understand their audience better on these platforms and tailor their messaging accordingly through demographic data, follower activity and audience interests. It is also beneficial that engagement metrics, reach and impression count including hashtag performance all provide a robust content assessment which helps marketers to measure the effectiveness of their content, refine their strategies and achieve better visibility and engagement. 

However, with the new Threads app, the current reality is that marketers do not have the option to purchase ad space on Threads — although it has been recently reported that the Instagram team are already working on making their branded content tools available in the near future. Ads are expected to be introduced when Threads reaches a critical mass. And until this happens, marketers are advised to clearly disclose paid partnerships by using hashtags or text.