On Wednesday, Meta launched Threads, a text-based social media app that takes direct aim at Twitter. In fact, it’s already being hailed as the “Twitter killer.” In our opinion, it’s game on, Mark Zuckerberg versus Elon Musk. It will be interesting to watch how this social media land grab will unfold, especially in light that an election is just around the corner.
A few headlines are already standing out to our team:
- CNN Brian Fung’s headline showcases a possible lawsuit is on its way – “Twitter threatens to sue Meta after rival app Threads gains traction.”
- NPR Emily Olson headline states “Is Threads really a ‘Twitter killer’? Here’s what we know so far.”
- ABC’s Aaron Katersky and Mark Osborne state “Twitter sends Meta cease-and-desist letter over new Threads app.”
The basics and our recommendations
Similar to Twitter, Threads has a 500-character limit and users can post pictures and videos. The cool thing about Threads is that it’s integrated with Instagram, allowing for a quick and easy signup process. As of Thursday morning, over 30 million people had signed up, which seems to align with the company’s norm of getting mass amounts of users engaged before investing significant money into the project. Twitter has almost 400 million users to date, so Threads does have some ground to cover.
Our recommendation is “nothing ventured means nothing gained”; BOCA is in fact on Threads and we recommend that our clients jump on the bandwagon so we can all beta-test it.
Threads uses an algorithm so your feed shows you what it thinks you want to see, whether you follow an account or not. As the Washington Post noted, “There’s no way to make Threads show you only the posts from accounts you’ve chosen to follow. There’s also no way to make your feed ordered chronologically — instead, it’s organized by what the Threads algorithm thinks you might find most interesting.”
This is where Twitter shines — in theory. Twitter gives you the option to see posts in real-time from the accounts you’re interested in, ordered chronologically. For news junkies, it’s a great way to stay on top of things. That written, Twitter recently implemented “rate limits,” which limit the number of posts a user can read in a given day. Bloomberg notes, “verified accounts can now read 6,000 posts per day, unverified accounts 600 posts and new un-verified accounts 300 posts. After that, users will get a message that says, ‘rate limit exceeded.’”
For those who use the platform for real-time news, the site has been largely unusable because the rate limits throttle the amount of content you can consume. Twitter does say it’s still refining its policy, however, so here’s hoping it soon functions as it once did
The Impact on Communications, To Be Determined
Now that we have yet another social media platform making the world even smaller, how will it impact the communications industry? All of these tools have completely changed the way we communicate with each other. In a matter of seconds, we can share our thoughts and ideas, or pictures and videos, with another person who lives on the opposite side of the planet. Social media has had a hand in everything from establishing thought leadership to creating influencers to legislative issues, and even wars and revolutions.
For better or for worse, it truly does impact significant events like elections. We all remember these past few years all the chatter about “fake news,” which spreads like wildfire with the one click of a button. Working in the tech industry, we know how quickly things move and we as humans sometimes struggle to keep up. That will be our challenge as we navigate another medium offering connection with others.
So, now we wait to see how this “Musk v.s Zuckerberg” game-on social media fight unfolds and comes to fruition. Here at BOCA, we will explore the new Threads community for ourselves and for our clients. How can we best utilize it? How can our clients best utilize it? How can we leverage it to build brand awareness and intelligent thought leadership?
Only time will tell how this all works. But for now, it appears that Threads is here and Mark is going to give it a go.