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Thread Lightly: Assessing Meta’s New Platform 'Threads' and Its Significance for Nonprofits

Threads on mobile device

Meta has rolled out their Twitter competitor on Instagram: Threads. With Threads already hitting 100 million users and counting, it’s clear that many have been waiting for an alternative to Twitter. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Threads is a free to download, mobile only, social platform that users can sign up for using their existing Instagram credentials.
  • With Meta’s auto-linking feature, your Instagram account can auto import your Instagram followed accounts and immediately follow them in Threads.
  • Viewers of your Instagram account can see your Threads account by tapping a badge in your profile bio. Meta says this badge is temporary, and you can permanently hide it if necessary.
  • With Threads, you can "follow and connect directly with your favorite creators and others who love the same things."
  • The app is intuitive and very similar to Twitter.
  • You can post text-based updates up to 500 characters in length, share photos, and post videos up to 5 minutes long.
  • Users can manage who can mention and reply to them, filter out specific word replies, unfollow, block, restrict, and report other users.
  • Organizations are joining Threads quickly. UNICEF already has 550k followers!
  • Due to the platform being in its initial launch phase:
    • There is currently no feature that allows you to search for content or hashtags.
    • It is not possible to advertise on Threads, but Meta plans on adding branded content tools in the future.
    • It is also not possible to switch between multiple Thread accounts, which is a feature to take into consideration for 3rd party and agency management.
    • Content is not shown in chronological order, another feature Meta is planning to roll out in the near future.
    • Threads is currently unavailable in the European Union due to regulatory concerns surrounding the Digital Markets Act.

Considerations:

  • Monitor the platform. This is a new app and there will undoubtedly be many changes to its functionality in the coming months.
  • Don't just jump on board. Take time to develop a strategy rooted in your overall social media strategy, taking into account your target audience’s wants and needs – and ultimately how it relates to your organization’s overarching goals.
  • Public conversation is the focus. “It’s less about text versus photos and videos and more about what public conversations you want to have.” - Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram
  • Limited reach for brands/organizations at this time. The emphasis on sharing content with close friends may limit the reach and visibility of brands/organizations. Right now, content remains very lighthearted and informal but has the potential to be a strong community builder for organizations.
  • Potential for advertisers. With Meta being the parent company, advertising opportunities using advanced targeting criteria is a given as more features are added, so consider building up your following during this early adoption phase.
  • What if I don’t like Threads? While this platform is in its initial launch phase, you cannot currently delete your Threads account without deleting your Instagram account.

https://about.fb.com/news/2023/07/introducing-threads-new-app-text-sharing/

Lian Petrie
Megan Ziemann
Maya Parr

authors

Lian Petrie
Megan Ziemann
Maya Parr

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