Is Threads Unravelling?

Posted by admin at 12:15 PM on Aug 24, 2023


The world of social media is an exciting, if a little unsettling place to be at the moment. We've had around 10 months of Elon Musk at the helm of Twitter/X, and in that period we have seen an unprecedented pace of changes, so many in fact that we can't even list them all without getting a headache! The most recent issue, a rebrand to X, has created another social media firestorm and we think users are getting tired of these antics.

It's made Twitter/X a tricky landscape for marketers to navigate for many reasons. From the change in atmosphere that has occurred since Musk took over, to the inclusion of more advertising making the user experience less pleasant, and the myriad issues people have had with engagement and exposure throughout, Twitter/X isn't what it used to be. If a brand's customers are not using Twitter/X as much, or at all, then brands will be shouting into the void, a phrase which has often been used to describe the platform.

Meta's Threads launched last month as a sister offering to Instagram. There have been privacy issues with the EU, and so far it is not available to users inside the trading bloc. For UK and global brands this hasn't been too off-putting, but there is also no advertising platform in place yet, at least not one where metrics can be tracked and campaign success determined. Brands are using the platform to advertise using the sponsored content (SponCon) model, and because the platform allows longer text posts it's ideal for influencer micro-blogging in a way that Twitter/X wasn't.

Threads quickly gained 100 million members, and because it was drawing exclusively from Instagram's pool of users this wasn't unexpected. However, recent reports suggest that engagement and activity has dropped off quite sharply, so perhaps the appeal of the shiny new thing has faded?

While having Instagram's user base to draw from might have led to a colossal initial uptake, Instagram users may not be after the same type of text engagement that you might get on Twitter. If you follow a brand or a person because of the photos they post, it doesn't necessarily translate that you'll be interested in reading their posts for the same reason. This means brands have had to create content more specifically for Threads, and this means more work to cover the broader range of content types and formats you need if you're going to be active across the main social media sites.

It's still to early to say whether Threads is unravelling but we are noting the downturn in activity, and the lack of a dedicated advertising platform within the bigger picture of the social media world. This leads us to remain cautious about going wholesale on Threads while there is still so much turmoil within this side of digital marketing.

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