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MBUZZ: What advertisers need to know about “Threads”

August 03, 2023

Fill Me In:


On July 6, Meta launched their newest platform, “Threads.” Within the first four days, the app acquired over 100 million sign ups. When a user first downloads Threads, they are asked to sign up using their Instagram account credentials. This automatically links both apps and the user’s data rolls over, including followers. This allows for a seamless sign-up process avoiding the “cold start” issue many other social platforms face. The platform is very similar to "X”, formally known as Twitter, but Mark Zuckerberg, Meta founder and CEO, sees Threads as a means to replace X all together. While the platform does not yet allow advertisers to buy space, they claim to provide a different advertising experience than X. The opportunity for Threads to make more advertising dollars is present, as X owns only 3.9% of total US social media ad spending and is projected to drop by 1.8% by 2025. Will Threads take over X? 


What This Means:


Meta released Threads as quickly as possible to capitalize on the open market space created by Elon Musk’s failures with X. Currently, Threads is still missing many essential features that a social media platform of its caliber would be expected to have such as hashtags and user input on feed personalization. That being said, Threads has gained vast amounts of attention and public support due to the opportune moment Meta chose for release. Currently, you cannot log onto Threads without an Instagram account, and to delete your Threads account you must delete your Instagram account as well. You can still deactivate the account but this, among other things, has taken backlash from the public keeping some from downloading the app. Meta promises to ultimately turn Threads into a standalone entity and address many of the concerns users have, especially regarding feature variety and data privacy concerns.


Threads is currently not available in the EU due to their strict data privacy laws, but from an advertiser’s perspective, the data that they are concerned about is extremely valuable for matching KPIs and has always been one of Meta’s strengths. Meta’s strategy is to focus on growth rather than monetization until the platform is projected to reach a billion users. On the other hand, while many X users are hoping that Threads will be reminiscent of a pre-Elon X, Zuckerberg hopes to create a more wholesome advertiser-friendly environment than X ever was. This may be detrimental to Threads capability to steal the X fanbase but will be incredibly useful for making Threads into a profitable platform, something X has always struggled with.


Overall, Threads in its current state is a risky endeavor that holds a lot of promise. Threads is an incomplete app with a long way to go before it will be accepted by the public. The quick rollout of competition against a faltering X has given the app a great deal of early traction. Ultimately, the pressure is on Meta to convert these early advantages into steady growth and to keep users interacting on the platform. Time will tell if Meta succeeds in aiding Threads’ growth into an app as popular as Instagram, or as forgettable as Tuned.  


MBuy POV:  


Considering advertising has not yet launched on Threads, there is no telling how successful it will be. Although, the projections for the success of the app speak for themselves, many believe that the lack of ad space on the platform right now is beneficial to advertisers who need time to analyze user interactions on the app and cater media plans to the new fanbase developing on Threads. If/when Threads does launch advertising, it is likely that many advertisers will flock to buy space on the platform. Considering the already low percentage of social media ad spend X contributes to, Threads has the opportunity to blow X’s advertising numbers out of the water. Trusting the success of advertising on Threads before its launch may be risky, but we see it as a major opportunity for success. It may be best for advertisers to wait until advertising has launched on Threads and take the time to research the user market. Once advertising does inevitably launch, this will ensure that advertisers are as prepared as possible. Being linked to the largest social media ecosystem in the world will prompt many to flock to Threads to reach a new audience. Thus, having a plan in place may have the capacity to put certain advertisers ahead of others.