Anna Otieno, Head of Strategy & Insights
Nora Bafus, Executive Creative Director
Adam Telian, VP of Performance Marketing
Twitter has been on the fritz ever since Elon Musk took over the company nine months ago. And last week, Meta responded in kind with the launch of Threads - an app developed by the Instagram team that allows users to share text updates and join the public discourse. So, basically, Twitter with the look and feel of Instagram.
The Threads app quickly became the fastest-downloaded app ever, and pundits quickly named it the “Twitter Killer.” There’s a lot to unpack here, so we asked New Engen leaders to help us make sense of the news - how Threads has been able to pull ahead of the competition, and the implications for marketers and creators.
“Joining Threads is a smooth transition for many social media users,” explains Anna Otieno, Head of Research, Strategy & Insights at New Engen. “New users simply log in using Instagram credentials and are given the option to import their existing Instagram profile in a single step, allowing them to follow those same accounts on Threads. This seamless sign-up process gives users the sense of security, safety, and organization that Twitter is currently lacking.”
Why is this important? “Folks aren’t trying to rebuild their social media community on a new platform,” Anna says. “The approach taken by Threads cuts that step out and lets users pick up where they already engage.” She also notes that there’s a slight catch, “Once Threads is integrated with Instagram, it looks like there's no going back. At this time, users cannot delete their Threads account without also deleting their Instagram account. Gotcha!"
Anna points out that brands also stand to benefit from a Meta-created version of Twitter. “This Threads launch is an opportunity for brands to play in a familiar space, and interact with their followers from Twitter. Meta's existing algorithm, mixed with a fresh ad strategy, just might change the game.”
Nora Bafus, Executive Creative Director at New Engen, spells out several ways that marketing creatives and content creators can find value on Threads. “The Meta machine has a lot of cross-platform integration available and they make a point to keep new formats and tools fresh for creators,” she says. “I could see Threads quickly unveiling new tools and toys to separate itself from Twitter. Bigger, badder, and better, but with the same heart that drew people to Twitter.”
When asked what some of these new tools and toys could be, Nora replied, “Audio aspects, alerts to merge Threads with Instagram posts, expressions, GIFs, text flair ... the opportunities are endless.”
Another important element is the potential for cross-promotion. “Creators recycle content from TikTok to Reels to Snapchat in order to get the eyeballs and attention,” Nora explains. “Since Threads is part of the Meta brand, I think we’ll see content cross-promotion, especially when audiences differ on each platform. In theory, creators will be able to leverage a punchy Threads post to drive folks to their Instagram with ease.”
Finally, Nora predicts that AI will inevitably serve as an additional lever for creators to pull. “Meta already provides a lot of tools for simplified content creation, specifically for photo and video editing. With the AI boom, especially in text and copy solutions, I could see and AI component or integration being introduced to threads in the near future.”
While it’s still early days, Threads is already surpassing Twitter in terms of brand engagement. A competitive analysis conducted by Website Planet compared Threads and Twitter performance for 30 brands, including CNN, Reuters, and TIME, and found that 87% of those studied received more engagement on their Threads posts. Time will tell if these numbers and the sentiment around the app are sustainable, but for now, Meta has reason to feel good about the future of Threads.
“I think the reason the collapse of Twitter has been so impactful is because it was a platform that people valued and offered an unparalleled source of real-time content,” says Adam Telian, VP of Performance Marketing at New Engen. He adds,
Twitter users have been clamoring to return to that pre-Elon experience, and Threads may be the first viable competitor to Twitter. When ad inventory is rolled out on Threads, the power of the Meta algorithm could enable Threads to be the driver of full-funnel impact that Twitter was never truly able to become.
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