Just days after launch of Threads, media companies have been quick to register and start conversations with their audiences.
Labelled by many as a “twitter killer”, Threads is a new app built by Meta’s Instagram team which allows users to share text updates and start public conversations. Launched only late last week, the registered user base must be racing toward 100m after busting through 70m two days after launch.
With over one billion monthly Instagram users, there is still plenty of upside as more are likely to add Threads to their social media portfolio.
What the launch has done is allow publishers to focus on the most likely of the myriad of Twitter competitors to succeed in grabbing social media users unhappy with the dark place Elon Musk was taking his platform.
Threads is yet to launch in Europe, but that will happen. There are also plenty of product enhancements to come including hashtags.
Meta will no doubt offer incentives too for people who add their Instagram account to Threads. But it’s been such an avalanche initially that’s not a concern yet.
How to use Threads
Users can log into their Instagram account and migrate it to Threads. There is then an option to follow everybody you currently follow on Instagram.
Threads posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes in length.
At this stage, users can only post from mobile devices. That will change too as in most workplaces the desktop is the common device used for content.
An attraction that many have mentioned so far – it’s ad free, for the time being. Some think it might be 2024 before sponsored posts will be available.
Something else that is missing is direct messaging, although Meta has noted it’s also something that will be coming.
News brands start Threads
Seven News, Nine News and 10 News First were posting content from their newsrooms. Seven and 10 were pumping out a bit more volume as at the time of writing Nine had restricted its content to a greeting to its audience and a cricket update.
Joining the commercial broadcasters on Threads is the ABC which has signed up separate accounts for news, sport and its television and iview offerings.
SBS has also joined the party with accounts for SBS News plus the primary channel, Viceland and its news brand The Feed.
With newsrooms not focussing on social media feeds on weekends, expect the content to ramp up from today.
Radio stations and stars online
The biggest radio stations and their stars were among the early adopters. In the FM world that included ARN’s KIIS 1065 and WSFM while from the AM world 2GB was online.
The hosts of the market-leading ARN breakfast shows Kyle and Jackie O and Christian O’Connell have also activated Threads accounts. The initial posts from Kyle and Jackie O were typically cheeky. They published an obscenity, wondering if it would be censored…it wasn’t!
Others quickly online included WSFM’s Jonesy and Amanda plus podcaster and TV host Andy Lee is powering his own account in addition to his presence on the Hamish & Andy account. smoothfm’s Byron Webb worried about finding the extra hours for Threads!
LiSTNR had a suite of accounts active including entertainment, sport and crime. Nova had an active account for each of its stations and iHeartRadio was set up ready to go.
Publishers find a new platform
news.com.au was boasting its ranking as “Australia’s #1 news website” to its Threads followers. It is promising news from Australia and around the world…plus Taylor Swift updates!
Multiplatform news brands that are adding another way to engage readers include The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, The Sydney Morning Herald plus The AFR and The AFR Magazine. The Advertiser has always been a tech early adopter and the Adelaide daily is promising news and photos from across South Australia.
International brands with Australian operations on the new platform include Daily Mail and The Guardian. Both the UK editions and the Australian outposts have accounts.
The major sporting codes in Australia have built big digital followings and they are now catering to the Twitter alternative. Early online were both the AFL and NRL. Cricket Australia has been something of a pioneer in the digital space and cricket.com.au was set up late last week. Pity they didn’t have an Ashes victory to post about last night.
Many media companies have quickly set up their sports brands on Threads too from 7cricket to SEN Cricket to NRL on Nine and many more.
Debating the merits of primetime TV shows with live Tweets was one of the things that helped grow Twitter. It is certainly not the attraction it once was for many, but could Threads fire up interest again? MasterChef Australia in one program ready if that does happen with over 40,000 followers already on Threads.
Married at First Sight does well with its online army too and although out of season, it is poised ready to strike with posts about the 2024 season perhaps not too far away. Nine has also delivered Scott Cam to The Block’s account as it ramps up for what promises to be another successful season.
It’s part of the job, right? No surprise then that the hosts of Two Blokes Talking Tech, Trevor Long and Stephen Fenech both jumped on Threads quickly. The Two Blokes also run their own separate podcasts, publishing empires and frequent different TV and radio outlets where they share their expertise.
It’s tough being a troll
Burner accounts are harder to start up on Meta platforms. It can be done, but there are some safeguards and would be burner accounts will need multiple mobile numbers and email addresses.
Meta’s app family
After the lack of enthusiasm for the Metaverse, Mark Zuckerberg now has a family of apps that will keep people locked into Zuck’s world – Facebook, Messenger, What’s App, Instagram and now Threads.