An almost audible collective groan could be heard throughout agency-land last Thursday, upon hearing of the hottest new social app to arrive
The same story is currently being told across client patches — yes we probably need to keep an eye on it, yes you probably need bespoke content for it too, no there aren’t any ads yet. Social platforms have been trying to borrow the best bits from each other for years, Instagram almost killed Snapchat for a few years (before Gen-Z realised it’s the only one their parents still aren’t on), TikTok now is trying to capture the magic and success of BeReal. Twitter themselves launched an Instagram Stories copycat called Fleets a few years ago, only to quietly retire it after a few short months.
The truth is Threads has landed at the exact right place, and right time. It’s safe to say many have felt the ick from Twitter since Elon’s regime took hold, from having your own tweets flagged for misinformation, to most recently limiting the number of tweets users can read. At this stage it feels like Meta’s opportunity to lose.
Early Threads user numbers are impressive…
100M users in 5 days, a number which took TikTok years. But the truth is Zuck and his gang can brute force the success to some degree, 2B monthly users across Meta’s platforms, a fraction of which can make Threads an almost overnight success (and seemingly has).
So what of the platform itself? There is an almost intangible, innocent, cosy feeling to it. Unlike fresh out of the oven rival social apps, there is a warm familiarity to the interface and functionality of Threads — no surprise considering the strong Instagram integration, but that can’t be underestimated. According to Statista, we each only cycle between using 9 apps a day — becoming a part of that roster requires a lot of stickiness, repetition and simplicity.
Platform aside, the next few weeks/months of the conversation may be dominated by the cease and desist Twitter has issued Meta. Elon claims that Meta has stolen their employees (that he made redundant) and intellectual IP as a result. He may be telling the truth, but he also once said he was making a cyborg dragon, that he was in fact an alien, and that we’re all living inside a computer game.
Whatever the outcome of the legal proceedings between Twitter and Meta. I, for one, will be leant in, enjoying the discourse and waiting with bated breath how on earth the Barbie marketing team launch their threading journey.
Featured image: Instagram’s Threads shows up at the Apple App Store