Threads burst onto the scene in July 2023. Meta’s answer to X (the platform formerly known as Twitter), they promised huge expansion with their eyes firmly set on Elon Musk’s crown. It was good timing for Meta, as at the time, Twitter was steeped in controversy. From introducing paid membership to limiting views per user, Twitter was on a bumpy road, and Threads was offering an alternative.
But after the initial hype and fanfare, is Threads still a threat to X/Twitter, or has X weathered the storm, and the challenge to persuade users to switch to yet another social platform proved too big a task for Meta?
We’re going to put Threads under the microscope, assessing its performance, and it’s worth for B2B businesses.
What is Threads?
Meta describe Threads as ‘a new app, built by the Instagram team, for sharing text updates and joining public conversations’. It’s a space for users to interact with personal and business accounts, sharing thoughts and opinions.
User can include photos, videos (up to 5 minutes in length) and links with their posts. Threads allows for 500 characters, whereas X’s limit is 280 for standard users.
A Threads profile is customisable, and users can control interactions, and what others can see, which offers a degree of security. In an update issued in October 2023, Meta has plans to make Threads even more engaging for users, introducing polls and GIF responses, which help drum up conversation and engagement.
Threads: the stats
These are strong figures, achieved without a web-accessible version at the time of launch. ChatGPT reached similar numbers in a 2-month period, and Instagram took 2½ months to reach 1 million users (although this was back in 2010). Threads has the most successful adoption rate of any social media app ever, and that’s not to be sniffed at.
Meta utilised Instagram’s user base, mass-promoting it via Instagram and creating a referral scheme using a targeted CTA. Does that somewhat skew the hype and the results? Possibly.
Where is Threads now?
Was it just a shiny new toy, leveraging Instagram’s following, or has it solidified itself as one of the key players on the social media scene?
Well, it’s hazy. Let’s look at user time. Average user time in July 2023 was 21 minutes per day, as of January 2024, average user time is just 3 minutes per day. Compare this to Twitter/X, where users spend an average of 31 minutes per day, and the difference is stark. At its peak in July 2023, there were about 49.3 million active users per day, but this declined significantly. As at December 2023, the daily active users was 10.3 million. But let’s not dismiss Threads just yet.
Meta continues to provide updates and features, improving user experience and functionality. They’re even focusing on referring Facebook and Instagram traffic to Threads, and in December 2023, they announced that Threads would be hitting more countries across Europe.
So, it’s clear that Meta sees a future for their Instagram offshoot. The question is, is it relevant for B2B businesses?
Should B2B businesses be using Threads?
A Threads account is a low-risk venture. Brands can engage with followers and other brands, and whether the app fails or flourishes, you won’t have parted with too much energy.
As with any social media, there is opportunity to gain exposure, drive traffic, and get your brand and message out into the world. Businesses can expand their reach, create buzz around products, and build communities, all before competitors get a foothold.
In practical terms, Threads isn’t quite ready to deliver major ROI. As of December 2023, Threads does allow businesses to see referral traffic insights, but there’s currently limited analytics features and ad capability. Threads will eventually offer full API features, such as schedule posting, but the app is still in its infancy. Businesses should be conscious of the amount of time and resource they inject – for now.
Threads however is a great space for your brand to be playful, with less pressure on strategy. And don’t forget the cross-platform benefit, as well as Meta’s continuous feature improvements. Whilst woven with uncertainty, Threads is a platform to keep a pulse on.
Should I create a Threads account?
For businesses looking to explore Threads, you’ll need to create an account through your Instagram, which does come with the benefit of having an established network. And this brings us to our next point: target audience. If you’re going to invest time and energy into Threads, it’s worth getting a lay of the land, and do some research to see if your target audience is using the platform.
Although Threads is in an embryotic state with limited money-making tools, these features could be introduced at any time. If you’re interested in Threads, you could get started by securing a handle.
What other social platforms should your B2B business be using?
When it comes to B2B marketing, it’s all about trying to reach targeted audiences with consistent posting and a mixture of content. LinkedIn is a front runner for B2B, offering networking opportunities and the space to position yourselves as experts to the community. All businesses should be actively engaging with other organisations, alongside frequent posting. Check out our blog on how your B2B business should be using LinkedIn.
Facebook has a large and diverse follower-base and allows businesses to generate targeted campaigns. Both Facebook and Instagram offer analytics features, which allow you to monitor activity, such as engagement levels and impressions. X is still a major player and continues to be a popular forum for conversational social media.
Choosing where to put your focus comes down to your business objectives, budget, and resources. You need to consider the time you’re able invest in generating high-quality and relevant content. Read all about what social media platform is best for B2B business.
It can take years for a social platform to cultivate a user base, and the writing isn’t yet on the wall for Threads.
The platform may struggle to replicate the success of its high-profile competition X. And with influential, high-profile accounts declining, it’s not yet clear which way the wind is blowing.
For B2B businesses, creating a profile could offer an opportunity to raise brand awareness organically, but it’s important to balance investment vs. reward. A Threads account can be part of an overall social strategy, but B2B Businesses should focus on building their LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and to a lesser extent, X as a priority.
Our team help B2B businesses leverage social media to grow their business and build brand awareness, chat to us today to discuss your social strategy.