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What Is Going on With the Social Media Platform Threads?

When the social media platform Threads launched on July 5, I was super excited to see an alternative to Twitter, er, X (I can’t stand Mark Zuckerberg, but Elon Musk really rubs me the wrong way). 


For two weeks, it seemed everyone was talking about Threads. Celebs flocked to it, adding legitimacy and some stardust to this new social media venture from Meta. 


Yet here we are, two months later (I’m writing this on September 5), and I have started wondering about Threads. The honeymoon is clearly over. Many people are speculating that Threads will go the way of Clubhouse or BlueSky (still operating – but still invite-only! And now I’m wondering where my invite is).


Do I think it will disappear? No. Am I still excited about it? No.


What is going on with the social media platform Threads?


On July 19 – two weeks after Threads launched – CNN reported:


“After surpassing 100 million user sign-ups in less than a week, user engagement on Threads has slowed. Threads daily active users fell from 49 million on July 7, two days after its launch, to 23.6 million users last Friday, according to a report published this week by web traffic analysis firm Similarweb. The app’s average usage time also fell from 21 minutes to 6 minutes over the same timeframe.”




And not surprising.


Once the doors opened to Threads, early adopters and those who were just curious flooded in, eager for an alternative to the dumpster fire that is X. It was a shiny new toy – of course people were excited to give it a go!


Just as people showed up, guess what else did? The bots.


Adam Masseri, Instagram’s head who is also overseeing Threads, acknowledged that spam attacks were on the uptick. Users complained of replies to posts filling up with spammy links and “giveaways” in exchange for new followers. That would definitely keep me off the platform.


But let’s take a step back here and put Threads unheard of growth into perspective. It took Twitter five years and five months to reach 100 million users. The fact that Threads had 23 million-ish daily active users in just two weeks is nothing short of astonishing.


(Oh, and X? Daily users have been steadily declining since the beginning of 2023 as Elon started making unpopular changes. It’s currently estimated to have 250 million users.)


Is Threads here to stay?


Yes, I think so. 


It is an alternative to X, and the number of active users clearly shows that people still want a short-form, text-based app that facilitates conversations in real time.


Joining Threads is easy, as it’s connected to Instagram. Instagram is already a monthly habit of 2.35 billion people, so it’s not a huge leap from one platform to another. 


Plus, Meta is good at what it does. It has successfully grown Facebook, Instagram, and Reels. As Meta adds features, improves the user experience (like tamping down on spam), and hopefully polices hate speech that have made X so toxic, there is no reason Threads won’t also be successful. 


Marketing departments at large companies (with manpower and healthy budgets) are taking Threads out for a spin. According to this article in DigiDay, brands like Maybelline, Pepsi, JetBlue and Athleta are posting and getting decent engagement. But without the ability to advertise, it’s unlikely they’ll shift more of their marketing budget to Threads.


Which brings me back to ads. For Threads to make money, it’ll need to monetize. Meta has social media advertising down pat – but do we really need another social media app that is stuffed with sponsored ads? I don’t.


What would make me join?


A younger brand and more time on my hands.


A new and growing social media platform is a fantastic place to get a toehold and make a name for your brand. I’ve already done that – on Twitter, Facebook (when brands showed up in feeds for free!), and LinkedIn. 


I’ve put in the time to build my brand, so I can afford to narrow my channels. I consistently use LinkedIn, and I heavily rely on two highly valuable channels I control – my website and email. 


Speaking of time, I just don’t want to devote time to a new channel. I want to do my client work, keep my business humming along, and get out and play. Mostly, I want to play. 


So that is my long way of saying, no, I am not planning on joining Threads.


Should you use Threads?


Without a one-on-one conversation to better understand your brand and marketing goals, my answer will be generic: It doesn’t hurt to give it a try.


Marketing is all about experimenting anyway. You won’t know if something will work or not until you do it.


But if you’re going to give Threads a shot, you need to do it right. Complete the setup of your account – bio and all. 


Decide on a strategy. Do you want to build thought leadership? Then share your knowledge and comment on hot topics with others in your industry. 


Do you want to expand your network? Put together ideal client, partner, and vendor profiles – and start seeking them out.


And for pete’s sake, devote time to Threads. You don’t need to be on it every day, but a couple of times a week is ideal.


You will only get out of it what you put into it – like anything in life.


Are you on Threads?


I’d love to hear about your experience on the social media platform Threads so far. And if you want nothing to do with it, why not (especially if your reasons are different from mine)?

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