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While it felt like we were stuck with the same handful of major social media platforms for the last few years, it looks like a new competitor has finally joined the ranks. Meta, owned by Mark Zuckerburg, released a new discussion-based app called Threads which is closely tied to one of the company’s other platforms, Instagram.

And it’s said to be a top Twitter competitor too – but will it stand up to the fight? We’re going to dive into what Threads is, how to use it as a creator, and if it’s really worth the hype! 

Skip ahead here:

What is Threads and why should you care?

On July 5th at 7pm EST, Mark Zuckerburg released his new product, Threads. Within four hours, the platform had already earned over 5 million sign ups. That’s no small feat. 

Threads was launched as a discussion forum for users to be able to post comments, opinions, talking points, or news. Then, other users on the platform can add replies to each specific post which creates a thread of conversation. Hence, the name Threads. The platform even made a post on their own app talking about some of the ways to use the product and the intent behind it. 

Why is Threads important?

The launch of Threads comes at an interesting time. Certainly, there’s a lot of news about Mark Zuckerburg’s current challenges with Elon Musk, another highly successful entrepreneur that spends a lot of time in the spotlight for controversial news topics. Even to the point that the two leaders were offered a spot to fight in the Colosseum in Rome. So, the launch of Threads can easily be seen as a competitive approach by Meta to take over market share from Twitter. 

On a broader level, there’s been wavering uncertainty about Meta’s own ability to retain their position as one of the top ranked social media empires. Especially with the rise of challengers like TikTok and BeReal, and fast-changing behaviors in Gen Z’s social media usage.

From a business perspective, the Meta team has already seen four rounds of layoffs in the past two years, affecting nearly 21,000 people and leaving morale very low for the remaining employees. And the company saw less revenue in 2022 than in 2021. So going forward, new experiments and products like Threads are necessary for Meta to test out. They have a strong need to find a great innovation to help them grow (and even maintain) their market position in the long-term.

How to access Threads

Getting on the Threads platform is super easy, especially if you already have an Instagram account. First, go onto the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and download “Threads, an Instagram app” which will have a black and white icon. It’s totally free to download and start using! 

When you first open the app, you should see your Instagram login at the bottom of the opening page. You also have the option to click “Switch Accounts” to see another one of your owned Instagram channels to start using for Threads. If you don’t have an Instagram account already, this area will instead prompt you to sign up for a new one! 

If you already have an Instagram account – this is easy. It will automatically import your followers, name, and bio information over (but don’t worry, you have a chance to edit this if you want it to be different). Follow through the rest of the quick steps to personalize your account.

Should Elon Musk and Twitter be worried about the launch of Threads? 

Regardless of any reason that we suspect why Meta launched Threads now, it’s still a legitimate competitor for Twitter. As of July 7th at 10am EST (less than 2 days after launching), the platform has 50 million subscribers.

Generally, most of the news surrounding it is still positive, too. This could feel worrisome for Twitter, who has accumulated 368 million daily active users since 2006. Even more worrisome is that Twitter users are still uncertain of Elon Musk’s ownership of the platform. After his intentions were announced to take over, daily usage dipped. This is in part due to questionable decisions like allowing verified status to be purchasable and restricting how many tweets users can view per day. 

Since Threads and Twitter look so much alike, there’s also already been a lot of online discussion between the two companies. Twitter has already threatened to sue Meta for the launch of the competing platform. 

Putting the active competition between Musk and Zuckerburg aside, you might wonder if you’re going to switch to Threads, stay on Twitter, or use neither! Here’s a few pros and cons of Threads to consider:

Pros of Instagram Threads

  • It’s really easy to get set up on the platform. Since Threads syncs with your existing Instagram account(s), you won’t lose any of your branding or link trees and it will automatically follow anyone you’re already connected with on Instagram. You can also post your Threads profile to your Instagram account to encourage your followers to follow you on the new platform! 
  • There’s a low learning curve. The platform operates very much like Twitter. So if you’re familiar with how that social media channel works, then you’ll be all set to use Threads, too! Even if you’re not a previous Twitter user, the layout of the platform is very intuitive.
  • It’s a great place to encourage microlearning. Microlearning is the practice of delivering smaller, bite-sized pieces of educational content. Threads gives you an opportunity to share tidbits of your knowledge and then encourage users to sign up for a course or reach out to you for more information.
  • It’s easy to build engagement with your audience. Finding new ways of connecting with your learning community is important. Start conversations on topics that are relevant to your courses to help students ask questions, share their opinions, and collaborate on new ideas together.
  • It’s all the hype right now. What’s cooler than having your own know-how on what the platform is like? The platform isn’t yet available to everyone, so if you have access, that puts you in a great spot to start leading the conversation on the future of social media platforms like Threads! 

Cons of Instagram Threads

  • It will take some time to rebuild your audience. As people sign up for Threads, they can start to follow you again. But if you have a large number of Instagram followers who just aren’t on Threads yet, then it will leave you with a smaller following on your new platform’s channel. 
  • There’s an important, and somewhat hidden note about deletion of data in Threads. Since it’s closely connected with your Instagram account, you can delete individual posts and threads from your profiles. However, you cannot permanently delete your entire Threads account unless you delete your entire Instagram profile as well. A temporary option is to deactivate your Threads account if you no longer want to use it, which will hide likes, comments, and threads from users – but this won’t permanently delete it. See more info from the Instagram Help center here

How creators are using Threads

New social media platforms bring an exciting rush of creativity and curiosity to see how the platform will affect engagement, interactivity, and content distribution. Here’s a few examples of Thinkific creators who are already on the platform to gain some inspiration for your own channel! 

Thinkific creators already on Threads

Simran Kaur

Simran Kaur, on the handle @GirlsThatInvest, hosts a podcast and masterclass on investing in the stock market for beginners. On Threads, she’s already using her platform to educate users on financial tips, personal stories of budgeting and investing, and recommendations on other places to get free financial advice. It’s a great place to join the conversation by asking her questions about anything money-related or sharing your own stories in the thread.  

Kiaundra Jackson

Kiaundra Jackson is a well-respected therapist, specializing in marriage and family relationships. In addition to having a book on her knowledge, she also hosts a free course on building relationship goals! Following her on Threads gives you an opportunity to stay up to date on her relationship advice, while also allowing you to ask her questions directly that she can reply to in a thread. 

Taylor Loren

Taylor Loren is an Instagram aficionado, so there’s no doubt she’s a good person to look to for advice on how Threads will work out in the next few weeks. Her focus is on helping social media users build engagement on the Instagram platform and she’s even built her own course on how to leverage Instagram Reels! In the few days since Thread’s launch, she’s already been sharing new tips and ideas on how to engage on the new platform as compared to Instagram. 

Lia Haberman

Lia Haberman has an academic background in marketing, specifically related to digital marketing strategies like influencer marketing and content creation. On Threads, her channel focuses on expectations for adjusting to a new social media platform for engagement rates, new features, and types of conversations between users. She also has a course on Working with Influencers that can help you build a foundational understanding of social media engagement. 

Ideas to get started

Based on what we’ve seen from creators and Thread users already, there’s a lot of innovative ways to get started on Threads. If you’re looking for some inspiration, try basing your next thread on one of these ideas:

  • Talk about what you like or don’t like on the platform’s features
  • Ask your community what they normally do to adjust to a new social media
  • Share some different content styles like memes, videos, images, and text to see which performs better
  • Start replying to other threads on topics that you find interesting
  • Post a thread tagging a well-known celebrity and ask them their opinion on something newsworthy
  • Post a thread about your favourite brand or influencer and let them know why you love them

Is Threads worth getting on?

Threads is definitely picking up speed, but there’s no way to know how it will perform in the long-run. As younger generations seem to prefer more video-based content, it might seem like Threads is just a temporary thing for Meta to compete against Twitter. However, if it takes hold, it can make room for some serious innovation in features which would be exciting to be one of the first to try! 

Ultimately, it boils down to your inclination to try new things early. You might lean towards being an early adopter, which means you love to jump into trends and be the first to test a new technology. But if you’re in the majority who are okay to wait and see how it pans out, that’s okay too. 

Signing up for the platform, especially if you’re already an Instagram user, couldn’t hurt. At the very minimum, it gives you a seat at the table when talking about what you’ve liked or disliked on the new platform so far. So, why not?

If you want to hear creators chat about Instagram Threads (including some of the ones featured above!) check out our on-demand webinar! 

For more insights into selling on Instagram, check out this video guide.

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