By Beth Thompson, VP, Director of Public Relations & Social Media

In less than four hours, five million users have joined Meta’s newest social platform called Threads after it launched late afternoon on Wednesday, July 5. (Edit: And ten hours after launch, users across the world are waking up to see 10 Millions users.) 

For years, social media managers around the globe have been making predictions on new platforms to market and what features/additions would be added next to existing channels. In the world of social, speed to market is the name of the game, so it can feel like many new integrations or introductions are unoriginal and carbon copies of something that already exists. We’ve seen that most recently with online listening rooms inspired by Clubhouse or Stories updates, Reel capabilities, AI generated filters, “note” updates in chat and so much more. 

While the introduction of Threads feels similar to Twitter’s overall capabilities, Twitter’s tumultuous state and unrelenting ownership are setting the perfect stage for Threads to thrive. With real-time conversation streams at the forefront, the experience connects members of Instagram communities to lively conversations based on existing followers. 

Early adopters are noting a clever and cheeky tone in early Threads. And we are already seeing brands jump in on the witty banter. But what’s different from Twitter? For starters, there’s no separate direct messaging function at launch. And you have a bit more control over the audience who can see what you post. Unlike Twitter, Threads also has no hashtag or trending-topics function, and there’s no way to edit threads once you’ve posted them.

If you’re a social media manager who is sweating your next strategic move, or perhaps you’re still on break after the long holiday weekend, don’t worry. Gatesman has you covered on what to do next. 

  1. If you’re on Instagram, lock in your Threads account to ensure no one else can use it. 
  2. Follow existing community members - both followers and users you are following. There is a button at set up that allows you to do this in one simple tap. 
  3. Jump into a conversation and don’t overthink it. A simple “hi” to let your community know you’re there will help get the conversation started. 
  4. Since your newsfeed is based on your existing community members, you should start to see conversations pertaining to your interests pop up in no time. Engage by liking and/or quoting to start to build your content cadence. 
  5. Let other fans and followers know you’re on Threads by adding your posts to Stories or your newsfeed on Instagram or Twitter. 
  6. As you test the platform, start to think about your long term content strategy. Every platform has a purpose, so thinking through what type of updates make the most sense according to your audiences will be key. Once you have that in place, you can start to think about post frequency and how that might align with your business and communications goals. 
  7. Don’t forget to take advantage of the conversational tone within the platform to see if there are things you can learn from your community fans/followers. This could be a great place to glean new insights. 
  8. Put your brand voice to work. Keep things simple and interesting to boost engagement but make sure it is consistent with other shared and owned content. 
  9. Finally, monitor, measure and optimize. And if you work with a monitoring or social listening service, ask your rep how this will impact your future reporting.  

As time progresses, expect that there will be bugs after launch as Meta is known to build fast and launch even quicker, despite QA testing still in the works. But also expect more features and updates, such as the integration of hashtags to make content more searchable (currently only users are searchable), as well as the possibility for sponsored content and ad platform updates within Meta’s Business Suite. 

And as you consider your overall social media strategy, continue to monitor where your audiences are spending time so you can ensure a meaningful presence. Because one day, that may mean you need to officially retire your Twitter handle.