With 10 million sign-ups in seven hours, what does Threads mean for advertisers and creators?

Meta's threads

Plus: The other major social networking app that Threads could be targeting

Whilst the world has yet to see Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg cage fight Twitter’s Elon Musk, that doesn’t mean the tech billionaires haven’t gone head-to-head. On Wednesday, Meta launched Threads, the app widely reported to be a ‘Twitter Killer’ in light of some fairly baffling decisions made by Musk. 

As an app, Threads is more focused on text and dialogue, with Meta saying that the platform “offers a new, separate space for real-time updates and public conversations.”

So what does Threads mean for creators and advertisers, and is this really the end of Twitter?

Mediaweek spoke to Stacia Grooby (strategy director at Five by Five), Carl Moggridge (managing partner at Hopeful Monsters), and Alex Reid (director at Amplify) to get their thoughts. 


Stacia Grooby, Carl Moggridge, Alex Reid

Launching Threads

It may seem like Threads appeared out of thin air, having been teased, announced, and launched in less than a week. With endorsements from names like Shakira and Gordon Ramsay, Moggridge says that it is worth looking beyond the hype.

Moggridge: “It was quite surprising that they’ve been able to keep it under wraps, and then launch such a significant product with lots of well-known people like Richard Branson behind them. In terms of it being a good launch, fair play to them.

Part of me feels that the fact that there are all of these celebrities backing it might hide the fact that they probably have some reputation, trust, and privacy issues. Those are many of the reasons why Twitter is getting backlash as well. It’s not launched in the EU primarily because of privacy concerns. They’ve gone down the path of getting lots of celebrities behind it, so that people don’t have a slightly more intelligent conversation around the whys and wherefores.”

Whatever concerns may surround the app, Threads is officially out there on the market. With a brand new app comes a brand new opportunity for advertisers and content creators, which both Grooby and Reid have high hopes for.  

Grooby: “Everyone knows how Meta works from a consumer point, but also from a brand or advertising point. They haven’t announced it, but I assume Threads will be wrapped into the whole Meta advertising platform.

“I’m very interested to see how they handle their advertising, because that’s obviously a big, big factor for us. Here at Five By Five, we mostly work with gamers and video game companies – and I think Threads is going to do well with that particular group.

“Gamers just want to share cool video game clips and have conversations about the latest matches, they don’t want to worry about curating that content, and that’s why Twitter is a great platform for them to share their content. Given Threads already has images and five-minute videos, it’s set up well to take over that gaming influencer space.”

Reid: “Our creators are excited by it, and I think they’re excited by it because it’s another way to engage with their audience. A lot of creators won’t have a Twitter account, but Threads gives them the opportunity to be able to talk to their audience in a deeper and more rapid-fire way

“The creators built these audiences themselves, so whatever platforms can do to allow that connection to be stronger, I think is great. It will end up leading to stronger, more authentic audiences for creators, which they can then monetise.”

So what does Threads need to do now?

According to Mark Zuckerberg, Threads recorded 10 million sign-ups in the first seven hours of its existence in the market.


Post by @zuck
View on Threads



Content creators have clearly made their way onto the platform, so what does Threads need to do to keep them there?

Reid: Monetisation isn’t there, but I presume with everything Meta related, there is a monetisation game in the pipeline. 

What Meta needs to do is prioritise Threads content to the audience. If a creator is jumping on there and using Threads and engaging with it, that content should be seen by their audience, and have Meta pushing it to the right audience. That’s going to be really crucial.

“Creators want to see that if they’re putting extra effort into a new platform, their audience can see it, and it’s actually reaching the people that they care about.”

Reid also says that it’s a significant choice from Meta to make Threads a separate platform, rather than an extension of Instagram – despite people needing an Instagram account to sign up for Threads in the first place. 

Reid: It’s an interesting play from Meta to have it as a standalone app. It could have been a button at the bottom of Instagram that you could toggle to, but the fact they’ve made it its own standalone product really shows that Meta is putting some effort into this release.”

Where people congregate online, advertisers will surely follow. Grooby points out that if Threads wants to go head-to-head with Twitter, then it will at least need to match its competition.

Grooby:At a minimum, it will need to offer what Twitter had already offered a lot of brands, which is a really healthy, robust discovery mechanism – whether that’s through hashtags, trending topics and content, or being able to see the types of accounts that the people you follow are following. 

“Threads has already got followers’ suggestions, but hashtags don’t currently work on the platform. There are a few little things like that I think it needs to do well.”

As tempting as it is to dive headfirst into the platform, Moggridge says that there is value in taking a breath before making your brand an account.

Moggridge: “It’s one of those things in our industry, we love to jump on the new thing. Whatever it might be, there will always be a brand or an agency that will be pushing to be the first on that platform. I would probably say, see how it pans out – don’t jump straight into something because it’s new and shiny. 

“If they are launching a platform, you don’t really know if it’s going to be the wild west, or if it’s going to be well moderated. I’d be giving it a good six months to see if it gets any traction, and if there are any issues.”

elon musk mark Zuckerberg

Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg

Is Threads really going to kill Twitter?

From the moment the app was first teased, headlines have flown calling Threads a ‘Twitter Killer’. Stranger things have certainly happened – remember MySpace? – but Grooby and Moggridge say that they don’t think people will stop Tweeting any time soon.

Grooby: Killing a platform is a really big take, and I don’t think it is going to be as clean-cut as that. Everyone thought Facebook was going to die out ages ago, and it’s still there. There are going to be demographics that will be in that comfort zone on Twitter and won’t want to move from that comfort zone. 

“Twitter is its own worst enemy at this point, it’s doing the damage to itself rather than consumers or other brands doing the damage to it.”

Moggridge: “Twitter is having its issues, no doubt, but there’s value in Twitter – I always classed Twitter as an information network, not a social network. So yes, there are some horrendous things that happen on Twitter, but this stuff happens across all platforms. I think Twitter will get through, I don’t see this as being a Twitter killer – but I might well be eating my words in six to 12 months.”

Whilst Twitter is the obvious competition for Threads, Moggridge says that the fine print indicates that it may not stop there.

Moggridge: “Reading a bit of the background to Threads, I know they’re going after Twitter more aggressively, but the references to building community make me feel that Reddit could quite possibly be a target. In terms of how people use Reddit to have quite similar conversations, it feels like Threads is trying to push into that space.”

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