What is the future of Threads?


Threads is a noun now. And, boy, has it quickly become ~ a thing ~. On July 5, Meta launched the Twitter-alternative app, and in less than a week, amassed over 100 million sign-ups making it the fastest-growing app in history. This shiny new mobile-only social platform (available in more than 100 countries for iOS and Android devices) is similar to Twitter in function and style. The text-focused Threads feed serves up posts with up to 500 characters that can include links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes long by people you follow (and some you don’t).

Its similarities, from a brand perspective at least, end there. Threads is built upon Meta’s brand safety components with the goal of “positive, productive conversations” leading launch messaging and its inaugural features (like the ability to hide words). It’s incredibly simple for users to get started by logging in with Instagram credentials. This means that username, verification, and even an account’s following (if desired) can transfer to the new platform. Not only has this social graph import feature helped make adoption easy, but it has also cut out the “curation” time that stifles most new social platforms.

There are no differentiators between a personal or a business account for organic posts and engagement, and although. Threads does not yet support ads, measurement dashboards, hashtags, editing posts, trending timelines, or search, all of those features have been noted on the product roadmap.

The Twitter comparisons aren’t by accident. The release of Threads aligned with key changes coming from the main competitor in the text-forward social media space. In the few weeks preceding the Threads launch, Twitter announced reduced moderation to protect users and new limits to tweet consumption that received largely negative feedback from remaining users and the press.

While new and growing platforms like BlueSky, Mastodon, and T2 have created limited buzz and user growth, there has not yet been a real-time public conversations app to rival Twitter at scale. The timing couldn’t have been better for Meta to get into the competitive set, particularly on a slower, holiday news week.

So, what should brands do about it? 

If you haven’t already, activate that handle! Upon your first login, opt-in to sync your Thread account with your Instagram followers list. This is key to providing a base following on the platform, allowing you to skip the “start from zero” reset that can make new social media platforms daunting as a Social Media Manager. This step is a key strategy in digital reputation management and will ensure your brand is protected, whether you intend to engage further or not. 

Any effort beyond setup is subject to your particular brand, social strategy, and organic engagement initiatives. If you require a more thorough POV, here’s the TSL new biz inquiry form. We would love to chat Threads for your brand!

What’s next?

There is no precedent or historical reference to a new social network launching that overnight grew so quickly among U.S. users AND that was so intuitive and opportunistic for brands to join, grow a community of followers, and engage immediately.

TikTok was a slow grower. BeReal wasn’t a place for brands. And we would have to look back to the early 2010s at the launch of Instagram and Snapchat to have any sort of reference point.

Threads leadership has indicated there will be many additional features coming to the platform soon including trends and topics, improved search, and messaging. They’ve mentioned a focus on a few longer-term updates including a following feed, multiple accounts, like list, and – hold onto your hat – an edit button! Keep an eye out for those, as well as how the general public responds and how brands innovate and use this new platform to reach and engage their audiences.

As we watch the adoption of Threads unfold and the product improve and shift, it will be important for each company to determine where Threads fits in a brand’s social media marketing mix in the short and long term. But one thing is for sure – Threads is a noun now, and it’s certainly a “thing!”

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Background on The Social Lights
The Social Lights® is a social-first agency headquartered in Minneapolis that partners with clients to grow their business through strategy development, creative production, media buying, and social media management. Current clients include General Mills, Ecolab, Cargill, Caribou Coffee, Kwik Trip, Polaris and Massage Envy. The Social Lights was founded in 2011 and is a WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise. Learn more at The Social Lights.

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