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Threads: Twitter’s new rival

Threads is the new social media platform from Meta. It is similar to ‘X’ (the website previously known as Twitter) in the sense that it focuses on text-based posts, where users can have conversations, comment and share thoughts with other Threads users.

There’s nothing on Threads to be surprised by; it looks and feels as familiar as any other social media app. The main selling point for many seems to be that it provides an alternative to ‘X’, which, between the complete brand switch and the verification saga, has dramatically decreased in popularity

The problems with Threads

Although Meta is seemingly attempting to capitalise on the widespread discontent and dissatisfaction felt by many ‘X’ users, it hasn’t been the victory that Meta were hoping for. Although Threads had 100 million users sign up at its launch, that number has since dropped by half.

Many users complained about the poor search function, the lack of the direct messaging, the inability to change between different accounts and the lack of a feed that only shows users posts from accounts that they’ve followed.

How to get started with Threads

At the time of writing there is no Threads website, although this is something that Meta have said is in the works. To get started with Threads, you have to use your smartphone and download the app from the App Store if you’re using an iPhone, or on Google Play if you’re using an android.

At present, you can’t use Threads without an Instagram account. This does mean that signing up is incredibly easy; once you get onto the Threads app it carries over all the account information you use for your Instagram. You’re asked if you’d like to use the same handle (the term used for username) as your Instagram account, or create a new handle. You can then choose to add a biography, and link to a website, and then decide whether to make your profile public or private. 

For users under the age of 16 (or 18 in some countries), the profile will default to private. Public profiles can be viewed by anyone, across different applications. Private profiles allow users more control over who is accessing their account - you have to approve users before they follow and comment on your Threads.

Finally, Threads brings up the accounts you’re following on Instagram, and you have the option to follow the same accounts on Threads. If the person you want to follow doesn’t have a Threads account, the app informs you that you’ll follow them once they join. 

What should businesses do about Threads?

Having a social media presence can be an effective way of connecting with potential customers, advertise your products and service, and engage with your target audience; however, finding the right platform to do this is important. So, is Threads the right platform for your business? For the majority of SMEs, we don’t think it’s right just yet.

When a new social media app is launched, businesses can feel pressured to sign up straight away and develop a digital marketing strategy. However, for small businesses who don’t have the funding or the time to spend on multiple applications, we’d recommend sticking to social media platforms that are well established.

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