Threads app - Digital Marketing SEO affected

How could Threads affect digital marketing?

What is ‘Threads’?

‘Threads’ is the new social media app that’s burst onto the scene this summer as a direct competitor to micro-blogging site Twitter. The July 5th launch followed confirmation of plans for the product just weeks earlier. It belongs to Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, owners of Facebook, photo-sharing platform Instagram and WhatsApp. And you need an account on the ‘Gram’ to use it.

Threads is available in the US and UK but not, so far, the EU, due to concerns over privacy regulations. Nonetheless, there are still 1.6bn Instagram users outside the European Union who can potentially sign up.

Curiously, Insta did launch Threads back in 2019 as a camera-centric messaging app for sharing videos, photos, and status updates among a close group of contacts, although that closed in 2021.

There’s no denying the new version is making waves (it’s been described as the ‘Twitter killer’). Threads, which is free to download via App Store and Google Play, received five million sign-ups during its first few hours, and more than 100 million have now subscribed to the platform, making it the most speedily downloaded app ever (it’s even surpassed ChatGPT, while TikTok took nine months to reach 100 million users). So, it genuinely looks like a contender.

Zuckerberg says the early success was mostly organic, with little in the way of promotion.

That’s even more remarkable when you consider that the platform currently only supports Android and iOS users, with no web-accessible version yet. Still, it’s available in 100 countries, in more than 30 languages.

This early success is probably due to in-app marketing and the way Threads has been made so accessible. And trust was already in place due to the Instagram factor, so it does not feel entirely new.

Equally, the launch followed a period of upheaval at Twitter since Elon Musk took over the platform. Various advertisers pulled the plug, the verification process changed, and a string of other issues caused many to leave.

There are already some high-profile subscribers to the new text-based conversation app, from Netflix to Oprah, Kim Kardashian, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Meta says: “Threads is a space where communities … discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow.”

Posts can have up to 500 characters (Twitter allows 280), while videos can last up to five minutes. You can also upload photos, share an update as a link on other platforms, and post directly to your Instagram story. Plus, it’s possible to respond to, repost and quote others’ posts.

The list of what it doesn’t have includes proper search functionality, private messaging, hashtags and a ‘following’ feed.

However, the similarities with Twitter mean that the rival has already threatened to sue.

You can follow new people or the same ones you do on Instagram, provided, of course, that they also have Threads access. But it’s worth understanding that, if you leave Threads, you also need to delete your Instagram account.

Thread count: the impact on digital marketing

Clearly, it’s still very early days, and one size is unlikely to fit all. But your Instagram performance and following are likely to play key roles. And, as with any social media platform, you’ll need to be present and active to make it work for you.

In terms of content marketing, with its higher character account, Threads is likely to display a lot more of the written word. Additionally, it may become inter-usable with other tools, such as WordPress, which would be a boom for bloggers.

The longer posts could also allow SEO industry experts to share and find ideas more easily – just as they have done on Twitter, but in greater detail.

In terms of digital PR, it could be quite easy to work with influencers on it, and to learn who is reaching your target audience.

It remains to be seen how paid ads will work on Threads, but it will be interesting to see how that pans out. We also don’t know whether the departures from Twitter will become a sustained exodus.

What does seem certain is that this new platform is here to stay. And, with the power of Meta behind it, it’s set to be highly disruptive. So, you can look forward to a good degree of innovation, and some interesting changes ahead.

Talk to us at Front Page Advantage about the new platform if you have any queries. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to follow developments with interest and keep you posted.