Consumer, Strategy

Can Threads Cut a Path Through the Social Media Jungle?

For brands and organizations wondering if they should have a presence on Meta's Threads, MERGE provides the answers.

BY: Lauren Depew Director Social Media

PUBLISHED: 7/17/2023

With many individuals, brands, and organizations reconsidering their presence on Twitter, Meta's Threads has emerged as a leading antidote to the recent tumult occurring on it's rival social media platform. But how viable is Threads as a long-term replacement for Twitter?


Lauren Depew, MERGE's Director of Social Media, takes a closer look at this question - and others - and offers her distinguished insights and perspectives on Meta's new social platform and the actions brands and organizations should be taking as they examine the opportunity on Threads.


What is Threads?


Threads is the new social network from Meta that has a similar look and feel compared to Twitter. It is currently available for all Instagram account types, from creators to businesses to personal accounts, in more than 100 countries for iOS and Android users. Individuals can download the Threads app from the Apple App Store and Google Play. The new app accumulated over 100 million sign-ups in its first five days, as many have sought an alternative Twitter following some dramatic changes that have negatively impacted users on the platform. 

Below is the official description of Threads from their App Store listing:

“Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow. Whatever it is you’re interested in, you can follow and connect directly with your favorite creators and others who love the same things — or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions and creativity with the world.”

Will Threads be successful?


Yes, Threads is going to be successful thanks to a few very smart moves by Instagram.

Unlike most new social networks, Threads is actually built off of Instagram. This means Threads is in fact a stand-alone social network with its own app, but you need Instagram to sign up for it. What’s amazing is the Threads sign-up process is lightning fast (see sign up steps at the bottom of this article). Threads sign-up also includes an auto-follow button, allowing your new Threads account to follow every account you follow on Instagram.

All of this means that there’s a very high chance that every single one of your Instagram followers who joined Threads decided (or will decide) to auto-follow your brand account. We’ve already seen brands with hundreds of thousands of followers.

The reason most new social networks fail is that they can’t reach scale fast enough. Early adopters come, but there isn’t enough content or users to generate the necessary engagement. But Threads has instant access to Instagram’s 2.35 billion monthly active users. The app was literally born yesterday, but has already matured into a thriving, active social network. 

Should your brand be on Threads?


Yes, brands should get on Threads. Usernames on Threads will be the same as the corresponding Instagram account username and therefore cannot be claimed by another profile, which helps anyone being concerned about not getting their preferred business account name. But setting up your brand’s profile and starting to post content there is a good idea at this point. This is especially true if your brand has been paused on Twitter, weary of the more recent changes there. 

Strategies and tactical recommendations can be found below. One thing to note is that since you need an Instagram account to sign up for Threads, your brand will have to create an Instagram account before being able to access. There are instructions at the bottom of this article on how to sign-up.

What’s a good Threads strategy for brands?


Threads is like Twitter, but it’s built off Instagram. Your Day 1 followers probably came from Instagram and are more used to photo/video content than written content.

MERGE suggests brands build their Threads strategy off of their Twitter strategy. Hopefully your brand has the same voice and tone across every social network, making that an easy port. Give your written content a try to start.

From there, you can weave in some of your top-performing photo and video content from other social networks. We’re still in the test and learn phase with this new app, so try things and experiment. At this point, a unique strategy is not necessary, repurpose Twitter and Instagram content to see what works.

What’s a good first Thread for your brand?


Many brands join new social networks with a “hi, hello, how are ya?” type of post to introduce themselves to the platform’s audience. People may remember this most recently from the way users joined TikTok. 

MERGE recommends jumping right into content on Threads. However, your Day 1 followers likely came from your Instagram—they already know you! Just start posting content as if you have been there the whole time.

Lyft Social Media Manager Bri Reynolds’ suggestion: go grab your top-performing evergreen tweets, post one or a few as your Day 1 Thread content. You’ve already proven they’re successful.

Will Threads bring Twitter down?


We can’t be sure. But we do have some data from a new chart by Cloudflare's CEO that shows Twitter’s user traffic since January of this year. It shows a large drop off in traffic in the days since Threads launched.

Plus, what’s happening with Threads is unprecedented. The only new social networks to scale in the last decade have done so with different value propositions than existing social networks. TikTok’s “For You” page and music integrations had never been done before. BeReal’s post-only-once-a-day had never been done before. But there hasn’t been a clone app or direct competitor who has come remotely close to challenging the originator, because, if you’re happy with one social network, you’re not going to leave it for another network that offers the same thing. The question now is whether Twitter users are so unhappy with the recent changes that they’re willing to completely start over on a different app. We are starting to see that happen, but time will tell if people stay there and away from Twitter. 

Will there be advertising opportunities?


Yes. However, ads on Threads are “not the priority right now,” says the Head of Instagram. It appears that Meta wants to ensure its answer to Twitter is sustainable before rolling out ads on the platform. 

Mark Zuckerburg himself commented on advertising saying, “our approach will be the same as all our other products: make the product work well first, then see if we can get it on a clear path to 1 billion people, and only then think about monetization at that point.”

Key Takeaways


Threads seems to be positioned to be a major player in the social media landscape, and at first review, appears to be a solid replacement for brands moving away from Twitter. The media team at MERGE offers three main takeaways when getting started on Threads:

- Get started right away! The built-in connection with Instagram makes sign up easy and provides an automatic audience that already knows you. 
- To start, utilize content you already have. Post your top performing tweets and some of your best videos/photos from other social networks.
- Stay tuned for advertising opportunities, which will likely launch soon given Threads’ quick rise in user base


Looking to make the most of brand's presence on social media? Connect with MERGE's team of social media experts to see how your brand can best capitalize on the opportunity!