Will Threads Become a Thing in 2024?

It’s been eight months since its release and now, Threads has undergone significant changes that make it familiar to Twitter (X), prior to its Musk era. Now, I don’t believe Twitter (X) will be replaced. If so, it would have been gone by now. News is still breaking on Twitter (X). Remember the whole Open AI and Sam Altman chaos in November 2023? All developments on the matter were made on Twitter (X). It’s still where the internet goes to react. So, then where does that leave Threads this year?

Rather than seeing this as a Twitter (X) copycat, Threads offers a unique opportunity for brands to curate an exclusive community. While brands are all about the aesthetics on Instagram and hopping on trends on Twitter (X), Threads might be where you take the same topic you explore on Instagram, for instance, and seek ways to foster a closer community feel – think discussing that topic in a tight Discord or Patreon group of super fans.

Before you jump at the idea of establishing a Threads presence, let’s start by understanding where the platform is today and how you might look at platform success.

If Twitter (X) and Instagram Had a Baby: That’s Your Threads Audience.

Picture your Instagram audience. Now think about your Twitter audience. Two completely different people but that weird mash-up of the two is what you have on Threads. Some are there because they dislike where Twitter (X) is headed. Others are there because it was an easy cross over from Instagram. Whatever the case, you now have a completely new audience group. That means you can test out your brand tone and personality – maybe it levels up or down – in your content.

Community + Niche Conversations Distinguish This Platform

Meta has stated that Threads is focused on building community (think private communications with friends) and brands have taken a pure community building approach vs pushing lower funnel messaging. Users are not interested in a hard-sell. Anything too hard-hitting becomes a turn-off. As such, engagement CTAs are less hard hitting here than seen on Twitter and Instagram. Separately, the experience feels clean, genuine, and transparent.

Marvel on Threads focusing on community building content

Threads Has a Genuinely Casual Tone

While brands have brought their big personalities over (Wendys), the app encourages an element of honesty. We’re seeing less emphasis on the perspective of an entity – “us, the brand” – and instead, adopting a human voice. Because we’re building a tight knit community, the level of casualness here feels like you’re having a conversation with your best friend. It can be witty or serious, but it feels casual. With the strong emphasis on community, testing informal/first person tone here can help you adapt to the user conversations on Threads.

Wendy’s bold personality transferred over onto Threads

Building Community Becomes Easier Now that Keyword Searching + Tags Become Available

New updates now make it easier to find relevant topics of conversation and engage in them. You can even tag your post BUT only with one searchable keyword. It’s also reported that a “trending topics” feature is in the works. With these add-ons, it’s essential to spark and maintain dialogue with fans to build awareness, create community, and sustain activity. Whether that’s on your own content or in the conversations you proactively seek already happening around your brand or topic.

Oreo proactively engaging with conversations around the trending alien dupe

Images/Videos on Threads are Added to Enhance the Idea or Conversation; Not Directly to Replace Dialogue

Visuals are beautifully displayed on Threads in contrast to Twitter (X)’s busy layout where sharing a quick response via meme or link is often seen. That’s not to say memes are not used on Threads. Again, it goes back to enhancing the conversation. How did it add value to the conversation?

Twitter’s UI View Often Feels Busy
Threads’ feed is cleaner and doesn’t crop vertical images

Some Thread Posts Are Seen On the Instagram Feed

If your Threads account is connected to your Instagram account, your Threads posts might see additional exposure in the Instagram feed. This doesn’t mean you selected to publish a Thread onto both platforms but this is Meta’s way to try to lure more people to click on the posts and hop on over to the Threads app.

A collection of Threads posts appearing as a carousel mid-feed on Instagram

There is No Third Party Tool for Community Management

Sorry to break it to you but to optimize sourcing/responding to tagged content or fans’ conversations, this all needs to operate natively within the app or desktop. That said, we have the ability to hide replies or mute/restrict profiles that troll or violate our community guidelines.

Measuring Success on Threads Isn’t All About Engagements

It’s easy to turn our attention to the number of followers and likes/comments/shares/etc that you gain; however, because there really is no insights dashboard available to use or a clear way of knowing how many people you’re reaching – Meta says they’re still working on this – it’s best to think back to your purpose. Some brands use Threads to amplify their day-to-day Twitter (X) content while others have used it to identify niche topics that their super fans get most excited about (Marvel Entertainment).

Like All Major Platforms, Threads Struggles With Managing a Hate Speech

For the most part, things were good on Threads but as early as last Summer, some hateful content occasionally popped up. This happened again in December 2023 when Islamophobic and transphobic content appeared to infiltrate feeds. Meta confirmed this and stated they are actively working on removing content violating their community guidelines. Like other social platforms, this will always be an ongoing issue but given the relatively newness of the app, backlash on the platform hasn’t been as impactful as we typically see on apps like Twitter (X) or Meta’s other platforms.

So… Is Threads Worth My Time?

It’s certainly a platform worth keeping in your radar. I’d suggest starting with good ol’ fashion social listening. Keyword search your brand followed by other terms that you closely associated with your brand – the category, product, or service.

Searching the brand “Supreme” on Threads

Afterwards, you’ll have to ask yourself the tough question – why are you interested in Threads? Are there conversations happening there worth exploring? Is there more about your audience you want to learn? How can you learn from them? How can Threads be different from your other social presences?

For now, start by gathering intel. The insights can help inform what your next step on the platform will look like.

Denisse is an Associate Director of Social Strategy at Camp + King in San Francisco where she’s lead social for clients like Papa Johns, Four Roses Bourbon, and Energizer. Working in social media since the early days of Vine, she loves exploring the intersectionality of social as a conduit to creativity, community, action, and storytelling while embedding a diverse perspective.