Mark Zuckerberg mentioned this on the Lex Fridman podcast a few weeks back, and I did not expect it to be launched so soon! Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has recently launched a new social media platform, Threads. This platform is already making waves on the interweb, with 30 million sign-ups, including many brands, celebrities, and journalists, within hours of its launch. Why? Any platform's early days are essential to grab many followers organically assisted by the algorithm. This was the story with Facebook and Instagram during its early days, and the social media mavens have not been slow to get on to the platform.
As a startup founder, you might wonder about this new platform and how it could benefit your business. This post guides you to its potential benefits and challenges for startups.
Thread is a new app from Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The platform looks much like Twitter, with a feed of primarily text-based posts, although users can also post photos and videos. People can have real-time conversations, reply to, repost, and quote others' Threads posts. The ability to log in directly from Instagram is a killer idea to grab hold of as many of the 2.9BN users of that platform. The app also blends Instagram's existing navigation system and reportedly offers the ability to share posts from Threads directly to Instagram Stories (I have yet to test this).
Why 'Threads' Matters to Startups?
Global Reach: The app is available in over 100 countries and 30 languages. This global reach offers startups an exceptional opportunity to connect with a diverse, international audience, expanding their customer base and brand recognition.
User-Friendly: Threads allows users to sign up through their existing Instagram accounts, ensuring a seamless transition. This user-friendly approach makes it easy for startups to establish a presence on the platform and engage with their audience.
Future Advertising Opportunities: While Threads is currently ad-free, it's poised to become a new avenue for Meta's advertising business. This could give startups a fresh, engaging platform for advertising their products or services. We know Meta thrives on Ads!
The Twitter Takeover by Elon Musk: A Tale of Mismanagement and the Rise of Threads
In April 2022, Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, announced his bid to buy Twitter. Driven by a desire to rid the platform of spam bots and protect free speech, Musk was willing to cough up a staggering $44 billion to acquire the social media giant. However, the journey since the takeover has been anything but smooth.
A series of controversial decisions and chaotic changes have characterized Musk's management of Twitter. From verification chaos, API access shakeups, and ban reversals to staggering layoffs, Twitter, under Musk's leadership, has been a whirlwind of unpredictability. The platform has seen drastic changes, including limiting the number of tweets users can read daily, requiring an account to view tweets, and introducing a subscription model for extended features.
One of the most controversial changes was the introduction of read limits, drastically reducing the number of posts users could peruse daily. This decision particularly impacted TweetDeck users, causing significant problems, including notifications and entire columns failing to load.
Moreover, Musk's decision to enforce a login requirement to view tweets was met with widespread criticism. Although this was later silently removed, it added to the growing dissatisfaction among Twitter users. All this has resulted in several would-be ‘Twitter killers’, and Threads is probably the most credible. There are a few Web3 /Crypto Twitter-challengers that I will cover later on.
Challenges with Threads
While Threads offers some benefits, startups must be aware of potential challenges. Threads profiles are tied to Instagram accounts, meaning you can only delete your Threads profile by deleting your Instagram account. This could complicate account management for businesses.
Moreover, like Instagram, Threads collects user data, including location, contacts, search history et al. (oh yeah, this has stayed the same wrt to Meta!). This could raise privacy concerns among some users, and startups should be transparent about handling user data (not breaking news!).
The Bottom Line
In the rapidly evolving social media landscape, Threads is a game-changer. As startup founders, embracing this new platform could be a smart move to engage with your audience and expand your reach. However, as with any new platform, carefully considering the potential benefits and challenges is essential.
Stay ahead of the curve by exploring Threads today. As the platform continues to evolve, it could offer new opportunities for startups to connect with their audience and grow their business.
Am I on it? Yes, I am: my handle is @renjit.philip, and I am testing it out!