Threads: Zuckerberg’s promise to do what Twitter can’t

Breaking down the newest social media platform.

July 24, 2023
Associate Social Media Director

It’s official. Meta has launched Threads, the mainly text-based response to Twitter — which is being rebranded to ‘X‘ as of July 23. And to date, Threads already has nearly 120 million users – well on its way to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s goal of 1 billion.

The platform might be only weeks old but won’t look unfamiliar to most social media users. The feed-style channel is designed to create discussions and conversations on Meta’s new platform closely connected to Instagram. In fact, you can’t even have a Threads account without an Instagram profile.

So, does your brand need to start a Threads account? It depends. Threads is designed to be very interactive — a true conversation. That means social media managers must be more responsive and engaging on the platform. But, at the same time, it opens doors to fruitful conversations that will build brand trust and loyalty and open another avenue for gathering consumer insights.

Unrolling the Spool: What is Threads?

While the platform might look similar to Twitter, there are a few minor changes and specs to keep in mind if you plan to start an account.

Threads only have public (or semi-public for those who mark their profiles as private) conversations. Currently, there is no option for direct messages. Also, while Meta has promised more updates and features, it doesn’t appear to support hashtags or have the option to search for content, only users.

And spec wise:

  • Your Instagram username will automatically become your Threads username
  • Your Instagram following will be connected to Threads, allowing you to follow all linked accounts
  • Text content has a max of 500 characters, an increase from Twitter’s 280 for users who don’t subscribe to Twitter Blue
  • Content can include links, photos and videos – with a few limitations:
    • Each post can have a max of 10 photos, more than Twitter’s 4
    • Videos have a maximum length of five minutes, double that of Twitter
  • Threads does not currently have options for paid ads
  • Twitter recently announced restrictions on unverified accounts that prevented users from viewing more than 500 tweets per day for new users and 1,000 for established users vs. Thread’s unlimited
  • Individuals under 16 will be required to have private accounts

The close relationship between Threads and Instagram also ensures all individuals and brands verified on Instagram will carry their verification through to Threads. But it also links your accounts in a tricky way. Currently, there’s no way to delete your Threads account without deleting your Instagram account. But Meta has promised this is something they’re looking into.

The platform brands itself as a “kinder” version of Twitter — both allowing users to add blocked keywords to filter content as a whole and the option to block or hide specific threads and accounts.

Threads isn’t Meta’s first strike at a popular social media platform. In 2020, Instagram launched Reels as a direct response to the rise of TikTok.

Your brand and Threads

Interested in starting a Threads account for your brand but want to chat through it? Reach out to our social media team. Since the platform is brand new and developers are still working through the kinks, we can’t claim to have all the answers, but we’re diving in headfirst.

Chernoff Newman has deep category experience in agriculture, food and beverage, education and workforce development, energy, economic development, financial/insurance, healthcare and infrastructure. We design integrated marketing and strategic communications that are impactful, thought-provoking and influential. We marry ingenuity with business know-how to influence beliefs and behaviors for brands, companies and their many stakeholders. We influence attitude and inclination. We influence opinion and outcomes. And when needed, we also influence to quell contention.