Instagram’s Twitter Challenger ‘Threads’ Has Landed
Last month, we wrote about a new social media platform Meta’s Instagram was working on – a Twitter competitor called “Threads”. Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen more announcements around the new social media platform, and as of yesterday, it’s available to the public.
Threads is Meta’s newest product launch under the umbrella of the Instagram brand. It’s a text-based conversation app competing with Twitter and its slew of competitors that have come out since Elon Musk took over Twitter last year. With Meta’s Facebook and Instagram losing out to TikTok on time spent on social media, the company has been looking for ways to remain relevant.
What Is Threads?
Meta has described Threads as a text-based app for conversations where you can talk directly with your audience & peers. Like Instagram, photos and videos can be shared, but unlike Instagram, text-only posts are also possible on the platform. The social platform is deeply integrated with Instagram - you’ll log into the new app using your Instagram login information and keep the same username between apps. Users can also follow all the accounts they follow on Instagram with one tap, allowing you to build an audience quickly.
With an emphasis on real-time moments, this new app breaks from the curated feeling of Instagram Stories and the Instagram Feed. This change allows brands to more authentically connect with their local communities and potential customers without the need to fit a heavily-curated feed aesthetic.
A New Era For Content Creation
With heavily curated content calendars acting as an essential part of organic social media for years, we think this social media platform will shine best for those who use it for timely property updates and organic interactions with communities, customers, and creators.
While many of these property updates and interactions have long lived hidden beneath Instagram comments & soon-disappearing stories, a streamlined text-based feed allows people interested in your property to see everything that has been going on recently on property, questions and answers from other prospective travelers, and other local businesses you’re interacting with. All three of these give customers a clearer picture of your engagement with customers, the brand’s voice, and your hotel’s authority on things to do wherever your hotel is located.
Sharing UGC will also take on a new life in this new social media platform. While before, we were only able to share stories that mentioned us on Instagram, on Threads, hotels will be able to share content that they are not mentioned in including posts about them and posts that their customers may be interested in. This is a great opportunity to share other company’s content to keep your brand top-of-mind while establishing yourself as a knowledge base for the area. Establishing yourself as a company who shares other’s content in the area could also incentivize them to share your content back, expanding your reach.
How Can My Hotel Be Successful On Threads?
At launch, Threads doesn’t use hashtags or trending topics, removing some of the main discoverability tools on its main competitor, Twitter. The main methods of discoverability right now are through connecting with other users, users you’re already connected with on Instagram, and of course, an algorithm. At launch, Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, says that there is an algorithm that ‘lightly’ ranks posts. They’re also looking to highlight recommendations from accounts you don’t follow in your Threads timeline.
Hashtags, improved search, and trending topics all seem to be on the way, with Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram responding to a user asking about hashtag search saying “Yeah, lots of basics like that still missing”.
Advertising on Threads
At this time, there are no paid ads on the new social media platform, a nice refresher from the ad filled social media platforms we’re used to. However, Mark Zuckerberg had this to say about ads on the platform: “Our approach will be the same as all our other products: make the product work well first, then see if we can get it on a clear path to 1 billion people, and only then think about monetization at that point.”
With 10 million users on Threads in the first 7 hours, Meta is well on its way to that point, but it may be a while before we see ads. In the meantime, the data collected from Threads may inform what ads you get served on other Meta platforms like Instagram and Facebook: “We will use your Threads and Instagram information to personalize ads and other experiences across Threads and Instagram”.
What Happened To Threads Being Part Of The Decentralized Social Media Universe?
It’s true - the first reports on Threads earlier this year teased that it would be built on the ActivityPub platform. The ActivityPub platform is a standard that allows posts from one social media platform to be viewed and interacted with across a whole host of other platforms including Mastodon and PixelFed, similar to how you can interact with emails no matter where they came from.
At launch, this feature hasn’t been fully fleshed out in Threads, closing the social media platform off. However, this does seem to still be in the works and is something to look forward to in the future:
How Can You Get Started on Threads?
You can get started with threads by visiting Threads.net or downloading the app on the App Store or Google Play Store and logging in via your Instagram account.
Take a look around the new social media platform and introduce yourself. This is a great time to share some of your most successful Instagram posts to start building account history, along with sharing some new content so that your profile visitors have something to look at and know what kind of content they’ll be seeing going forward. Share your top recommendation for travelers in your area, a photo from a great spot to eat, and start interacting with those who are in your area!
With a brand new social media platform here, we’ll be keeping an eye on any changes and updates we see – we’re sure there will be a lot of them. GCommerce will be hosting a webinar on getting started with Threads on August 17th, 2023 at 11AM MST. You can sign up to join the webinar here.