Threads is a new phenomenon, giving people an alternative, while also topping the global dominance of Twitter.
New social media platforms always attract much attention and create buzz, but not every newcomer comes to stay, take Clubhouse for instance. Threads, powered by potential 2.35 billion of active Instagram users, may prove to be a different story though.
Let’s get to know how to adapt your campaigns to this platform, which ad formats are acceptable, which topics are allowed, and which audience segments are the best to target with advertising. Also, let’s see whether Threads is actually a viable marketing alternative to long-standing Twitter. It’s time to weave some threads!
What Is Threads
Threads is a social media platform, released into public on July 5th, 2023 by M. Zuckerberg. Threads is available in +100 countries, with the most notable exceptions being the European Union, Iran, China, and Russia.
Specifically, people dislike Twitter being paywalled, when the number of tweets one can view per day is limited to 600 for free users, tweet replies included. Paying $8 for a monthly subscription increases the number of tweets tenfold, which might still be not enough. Other concerns include mass firing, constant lags, malfunctioning “for you” timeline, old feeds ranking on the top, inability to tweet, and overall instability.
Musk’s experiments had surged a wave of Twitter-like start-ups even before the advent of Threads: Truth Social, Parler, Bluesky, and Mastodon. Yet, only Threads managed to pose a threat to Twitter’s monopoly. In 2019, there was another attempt to launch Threads, only it was meant as a Snapchat competitor at the time. However, the project would be shut down in 2021 due to the majority of its features being implemented on Instagram, and low popularity overall. Now it’s different, as Threads, despite still being in development, saw 30 million users signing up the first day after its launch, which is faster than such big hits as ChatGPT or TikTok. Many users, however, only joined Threads as it is tightly connected to Instagram, with no ability to delete any of these accounts separately, once signed up to Threads.
Threads Is the New Hype…or Not?
Any new social network, especially one collecting 10 million users in the first 7 hours after launch, is a great way to drive some hype traffic. Threads allows the following:
- Publish text messages
- Reply to them
- Like them
- Share the posts of other people
Long story short, just like Twitter or Reddit, this social network is best-suited for user-generated content, or native traffic, which enjoys exceptionally high credibility from the target audience. Right now, agile companies, brands, and affiliates are skimming the cream from the platform. Which is why, it is best to hurry up and start launching campaigns just like in the case of any other platform, focused on user-generated content but accounting for Meta restrictions (more on that later).
Pay attention to the fact that many Instagram users simply transferred their data to Threads. For now, Threads is not very different from Twitter, so we are confident in saying that without unique updates and new features, some portion of these users will inevitably leave. Take the case with Clubhouse that lost its initial appeal when it became clear that the hype factor was all it had. It is even a bigger risk for Threads since a user account cannot be deleted without deleting one’s Instagram profile as well. In fact, the daily number of users has already dropped to 13 million, spending on average 4 minutes in the app. To put things in perspective, Twitter enjoys a stable 200 million of users, each spending 30 minutes on average.
Rules of Content Making for Threads
Meta universe in general does not tolerate NSFW content, unlike Twitter. In fact, Twitter allows much more freedom of speech, which is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, celebrities do not tolerate any criticism, discarding it as hatred and offense, so they happily join Threads (that filters comments and such) and take their audience with them to the Meta system. On the other hand, the sterile discourse of Meta displeases many, so the future of both platforms is uncertain.
Threads and replies can include not just short pieces of text, but links, photos, and videos. The texts can’t exceed the limit of 500 characters. Regarding the video content, it has to be less than 5-minute long. As for the specific restrictions, everything that is not allowed on Instagram is forbidden here too.
Promotion on Threads
With Threads, you can try the same approaches and creatives as with Twitter. Let’s take a look at Twitter campaigns and try to extrapolate the same methods on its newest competitor.
For now, it is unclear how the posts on Threads are arranged, but it is clearly algorithm-based and even has a word filter. So it’s time for reconnaissance through trial and error until we learn more about the post ranking on the app. The hype around Threads and the huge audience willing to explore the new medium makes it easier to collect insights and statistical data thanks to sheer number of users.
A big advantage of Twitter, Treads, Instagram, and other social networks is that you can get virtually free traffic. It is not fully free, because you have to invest time and effort anyway, but it’s not a straightforward purchase as with paid traffic. That’s right, search optimization and word-of-a-mouth are your best friends when it comes to working with social networks, Threads included.
Bear in mind that Threads is a mobile app, so it’s unlikely that you will get any desktop traffic. However, content on Threads is indexed by search engines and makes it into search results. So it’s a good idea to make SEO-worthy headlines and use relevant keywords in your posts.
Just remember that hashtags are not an option, at least yet. Which is why you have to be even more creative and subtle than on Twitter, since any suggestive content is out of line. Consider using Google Vision AI to get a basic understanding of how suspicious your creatives may seem.
Twitter and now Threads have fewer ads in comparison to other media, meaning your target audience is less likely to go ad-blind. Experience shows that accounts that are at least 1–3 months old with high activity (likes, posts, comments, etc.) show better results than new ones. And if you want to attract advertisers to your Twitter account, you need circa 2,000–3,000 subscribers to get them interested in placing ads.
Since Threads uses a full-on database import from Instagram, it’s safe to say that the audience of any given profile will be somewhat the same on both networks, plus those running from Twitter in search of a new writer’s haven.
Right now, Threads does not have a dedicated ads manager dashboard, but that does not stop you from placing ads directly on your account. Regarding the audience, Twitter and Instagram are visited mostly by the youth of 20–34 y.o., so use the same settings for Threads. As for the GEO, make sure to target the USA and steer clear off the countries excluded, i.e., the EU, China, Iran, and Russia.
Among the best performing verticals are financial products, eCommerce, as well as betting and gambling. Make sure to add a pre-lander or a redirect page to gain additional credibility and incentivize the user to go down the funnel. Also, leading users back to Instagram or to groups and chats in various messaging apps allows marketers to gain more traction and warm the audience up prior to pitching an offer.
Threads is such a young phenomenon that there is very little information on it. Nonetheless, you can treat it as a sibling of Twitter, which is a more familiar territory. It’s just Threads does not have a dedicated ads manager dashboard…yet. So promote your account actively while the audience is on the rise and people are getting used to the platform. Post the ads directly on your profile and make sure to add some pre-landers. Use both headers and main body to optimize your space usage, just don’t be too pushy. Also remember that your creatives must be mobile-friendly, don’t bother with desktop format, as the app is only available on iOS and Android.
And that wraps our take on the new social network! As always, if you need more insights or assistance with driving traffic, don’t be shy and reach out to the Yep Ads team!