Whether you’ve heard about it from your favorite news outlet or the Gen Zer in your life, Meta’s new text-based conversation app, Threads, is a hot subject that’s left marketers everywhere scrambling.
In the event you’re unfamiliar with the new platform (and all the buzz that’s followed its release), we’ve got you covered.
After being announced on Monday, July 3, Threads launched at 7 p.m. EDT on Wednesday evening. By Thursday morning the app had already reached nearly 30 million downloads. As of Tuesday, July 11, a whopping five days after the launch, the app has 100 million users. For comparison, according to The Verge, Twitter has about 535 million monthly active users.
The release of Threads, or as some have coined it, “Twitter’s rival,” comes after Twitter owner Elon Musk challenged Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to “a cage match” last month on social media.
What Is It & How Does It Work?
Threads is a text and algorithm-based app integrated with Instagram that enables real-time public conversations among users. With each “thread,” you have a 500-character limit and the ability to post photos and short videos up to five minutes in length.
With the linking of Threads and Instagram, however, comes one of its highly broadcast downsides – once you make a Threads account, you’re unable to deactivate the account without also deactivating your Instagram. So, brands need to be mindful of what their social strategy is prior to jumping on the bandwagon.
In essence, the new app functions a lot like Twitter, with lots of Instagram design flair. Once you’re using the app you can like, reply or repost a thread.
How Does It Differ?
Threads is the first app from Meta to attempt to make a decentralized social media model.
After Musk acquired Twitter, social media users made a huge push toward creating and using decentralized social media networks. What are they exactly?
Decentralized social networks operate on independently run servers rather than on a centralized server owned by a business. If you think back to this time last year, you may remember the word “Mastodon” floating around quite a bit. Mastodon is one of the best examples of a decentralized social network that garnered the attention of thousands in the mass Twitter exodus last year.
While Threads is still very much a centralized social media platform, Meta has stated it plans on bringing its decentralization plans to life sometime “soon.”
How Do Food Brands Fit In?
Among the 100 million users, brands are the quickest to make their mark. Threads, like most text-based apps, provides a platform and opportunity for businesses to showcase their expertise in a unique way.
How exactly are they doing so? Some are taking on a lighter tone that showcases the personality of their brand, or they’re signing up and taking a back seat to watch the action unfold.
So far, big retailers are reacting to Threads more than brands are. That said, even retailers who are present on Threads are erring on the side of caution and are not posting a lot.
For food brands specifically, whether that be retail, foodservice or consumer packaged goods (CPG), brands can take advantage of the app’s affiliation with Instagram and collaborate with content creators, influencers, food bloggers, restaurants or chefs to try to reach their desired audience.
In the world of B2B and B2C, disseminating your thought leadership and staying on trend are the two most important things you can do for your food brand.
As the app progresses over the course of the next several months, it’s in your brand’s best interest to keep a watchful eye to see where you fit in.