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What Is Meta Threads and How Can You Use It for Your Business?

TJ Kiely

Dec 29, 2023

Recently, we talked about our first impressions of Meta Threads. Now Meta Threads dethroned ChatGPT as the most downloaded app of 2023. It racked up 30 million downloads in just one day after launch and recruited 100 million users within its first five days. Clearly, this new platform is a powerhouse in the social media space, so it’s worthwhile to learn how you can use it for business.

Threads still has a lot of catching up to do compared to Facebook and Instagram (users on these platforms have surpassed one billion). But there are benefits you can tap into in the meantime. Since they’re all owned by the same parent company, we have plenty to look forward to in the coming years.

Let’s explore the role of Meta Threads in the social media ecosystem and how businesses can use it to grow their presence, brand image, and sales.

Table of Contents

What Is Meta Threads?

Meta launched Threads as a social media platform designed to rival X/Twitter. This text-sharing app is made by Instagram and allows users to post text updates, join conversations, and view content published by others.

Meta Threads

Users can download the app to their Android or iOS devices and access it with their Instagram login.

What Are Meta Threads Unique Features?

Threads was designed to be a direct competitor to X/Twitter, a microblogging platform made for posting quick quips and short-form content.

Despite its similarities to X/Twitter, Meta Threads includes several unique features that have lured more than 137 million users to date:

  • Text posts up to 500 characters (for comparison, X/Twitter allows up to 280 characters)
  • Videos up to 5 minutes
  • Option to follow the same accounts you follow on Instagram
  • A feed that includes content from followed accounts and recommended content
  • Algorithmically driven instead of showing the newest content first
  • Ability to “mute” accounts rather than unfollowing or blocking them
  • Privacy settings to control who mentions you
  • Ability to choose who can reply to your posts
  • A setting to alert you when you’ve been browsing longer than a certain period of time to help minimize screen time

These features are unique departures from the X/Twitter platform. As with other social media platforms, we’re likely to see new features evolve based on user feedback and usage patterns.

When Was Meta Threads Launched?

Meta Threads officially launched on July 5, 2023. The app became available in most markets during its initial launch. However, the company initially withheld the app in the European Union in response to new digital laws.

The company will make Threads available in Europe sometime in December 2023.

Who Uses Meta Threads?

Meta Threads has nearly 100 million of its users logging in and using the app at least once per month. Among them are celebrities with sizable followings, including Neymar, Selena Gomez, and Mr. Beast. 

#Meta Threads Account# Meta Threads Followers
1Neymar10.1 Mio
2Selena Gomez9.6 Mio
3Kylie Jenner8.1 Mio
4Kim Kardashian7.1 Mio
5Mr. Beast5.8 Mio
6Jennifer Lopez5.5 Mio
7Shakira5.4 Mio
8Will Smith5.1 Mio
9Chris Hemsworth4.8 Mio
10Chloe Kardashian4.7 Mio

Threads isn’t just for household names, though. Businesses and individuals can join the app, follow accounts, and post their own content. 

Brands like Glossier, Target, Starbucks, and Spotify are using the app for marketing campaigns. But again, you don’t have to be a globally recognized name to make the app work for you.

What Happened to Meta Threads?

Fans eagerly lined up to join Meta Threads. The site garnered 1 million sign-ups within the first hour and doubled its user base within the next hour.

But daily activity has significantly slowed — as much as a 79% decline post-launch. And the app is struggling to attract new users.

So what happened to Meta Threads?

One possible answer is that people simply don’t know how to use it. They’re unsure of what to post and what type of content will do well here.

With Threads’ direct connection to Instagram, users may have difficulty jumping the gap from visually inspiring photos and videos to text-based posts. 

There’s also some fuzziness in regard to Threads’ purpose, beyond being a X/Twitter alternative. This is a key question that underpins a new social media platform’s success — simply having users and content doesn’t guarantee longevity. A platform needs a clear purpose that makes it feel vibrant, useful, valuable, and worth spending time on.

While activity and user growth have stagnated, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg remains optimistic about the future of Threads. The company has incorporated user-requested features, like a search option, along with other features, like a mention button that lets you effortlessly mention others in your posts.

Other features are in the works, including a tagging feature similar to hashtags.

Meta Threads vs. Instagram

Meta Threads is a slice of Instagram, having been developed by the same team and accessible only to Instagram users.

Threads is marketed as a text version of Instagram, although it appears more like a clone of X/Twitter. But there’s more to both apps than the text vs. image conversation.

Here’s a side-by-side breakdown of each:

Meta ThreadsInstagram
Text-focused with photo and video capabilitiesPhoto- and video-focused, with text-based captions and hashtags
Content isn't as personalizedMore customization regarding the content you see
3Not as many features or content typesOffers lots of features, like Instagram Stories and Instagram Reels

Keep in mind that Threads isn’t designed to be like Instagram. Rather, it’s about giving Instagram users another way to attract and connect with an audience.

Meta Threads vs. Facebook

One of the OG’s of social media, Facebook continues to dominate the social spheres with more than 2 billion daily active users. Its name has staying power, which gives Threads immediate street cred and a strong foundation for success.

But other than sharing the same parent company, the Facebook Threads relationship is pretty nonexistent.

The two platforms have very different audiences, features, and user interfaces. Users engage with each platform differently. And unlike Facebook, which has an impressive suite of business tools, the Threads app offers very few ways to run marketing campaigns. 

That’s because it hasn’t been monetized by Meta — at least, not yet. The company wants the platform to become more established first.

There’s one more unique piece of the Facebook Threads connection: Meta is using Facebook to promote the Threads platform.

A move that’s been deemed controversial by many users, Meta is sharing users’ Threads content on Facebook. Offering no way for users to opt out, Meta shines a light on what people are posting on Threads in an attempt to grow the platform.

How Can Businesses Use Meta Threads?

Most new social media platforms come with a learning curve. But since Threads is designed to be a clone of X/Twitter, some features have already been tested and tweaked.

If you’re already on Instagram, you get an extra boost with the option to follow all the same accounts on Threads. Your Instagram followers also have this option when they join Threads, which can help you gain a built-in audience effortlessly.

This puts brands in a somewhat better position to try a “new” platform and create a strategy for it. With this in mind, let’s look at some ways you can use Meta Threads to achieve your business goals.

Post polls or questions to get feedback

The short-form nature of Threads means quick content like polls and questions fit well within its format. Ask your audience questions about your products or services, or throw in a few just-for-fun questions, Buzzfeed-style.

Starbucks sets a good example:

Starbucks Threads

Highlight your products

Threads is a great place to tease new products, promote existing products or services, or ask your audience what they’d like to see next. 

Like its Instagram counterpart, Threads is a community of inspiration. Or at least, it’s getting there. Brands like Target are using the platform to draw attention to various products and brands they carry. This is a great way to create anticipation about new launches or draw attention to items customers might have overlooked.

Target Threads

Test new ideas

If you’re thinking about bringing in a new product line or experimenting with a new feature, Threads can be a great place to collect user feedback. Since Threads users are also on Instagram, they’re no strangers to giving their two cents on what they like and don’t like. 

Share a product photo or video or link to a landing page that explains what you’re doing and watch the comments roll in.

Share announcements

Get your followers excited for what’s to come. Threads gives you a platform to share exclusive announcements, from product launches to new blog posts to awards and contests. 

Exclusive content can also be a great way to grow your following on Threads. It gives people access to your brand they can’t get anywhere else, which gives them even more reason to follow you.

Repurpose existing content

What you post on Facebook doesn’t always work for Instagram, and vice versa. But sometimes it does, and you can take advantage of cross-posting to save on content creation. Repurpose content from other social channels to help build brand consistency and stay active within each of your social communities.

Tip: Learn more about repurposing content.

Building Your Meta Threads Strategy with Meltwater

Whether you’re embarking on a new Meta Threads social media marketing strategy or are looking to grow your existing following, one of the key pieces of success is knowing what to post. This comes with learning who your audience is and what they like and dislike so you can give them more of what they want.

Meltwater helps you do exactly this with advanced social listening and audience analysis. Learn more about who your followers are, the content they engage with, when they’re active on social media, and myriad other data to help you hone your social strategy. Discover trending topics and how customers are feeling about certain issues so you can connect with them authentically. Meltwater empowers you with data so you can trade guesswork for results.

Learn more when you request a demo by filling out the form below.