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Could Meta’s Threads be a new rival to Twitter? Here’s what the North’s marketers think

Meta's Threads launches

Meta’s highly anticipated Threads – a new platform shaping up to rival Twitter – claims to have already had around 10 million sign ups and counting after launching earlier today.

Forget AI – Threads is one of the top trending hashtags in the UK today much to Twitter owner Elon Musk’s delight we’re sure… but he might not be quaking in his boots just yet. In a tweet earlier today, he was spotted flexing his usual sarcasm in a post: ‘It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram.’


Fighting words. After an already chaotic reign at Twitter towers since Musk took over, filled with dramatic and controversial tweaks and changes such as the reinstatement of accounts from the likes of Donald Trump and Andrew Tate back on the platform, the likes of Mastodon, Clubhouse and numerous other social media platforms have popped up for users wanting to switch and get their scrolling fixes elsewhere. But do we really need another social media platform? 

“Along with marketers from around the UK, I immediately signed up myself and Bottled Imagination for a Threads account. The big question on everyone’s mind is whether Meta can steal any market share from Twitter,” explains James Hayward-Browne, marketing director and co-founder at Manchester-based PR agency Bottled Imagination.

“Currently, it definitely doesn’t feel like a finished product, and the prevailing sentiment towards Trump and Elon may have affected the speed at which it entered the market. We should anticipate a lot of updates to the app, and quickly. However, it certainly appears that the seamless integration between Instagram and Threads has given the app a head start in the social space.

“It’s a blue ocean time on the platform, and we can expect brands to race in and establish their presence as soon as possible. Time will tell if we have another TikTok success story on our hands or a Clubhouse story.”

The new app has been built by the Instagram team for users to share text updates and join in public conversations. If you already have an Instagram account, you can log in to Threads using the same account. Posts can be up to 500 characters with links, photos and videos up to a maximum of five minutes. 

“[It’s] very easy to sign up, but I want to tailor my profile so it’s not ‘Instagrammy’ as I want to use it for work rather than personal stuff (as I do Twitter),” comments Gabriella Lucy, a freelance PR and digital PR consultant from Leeds.

For Steven Oakes, director of marketing at Northcoders, he adds: “[The] ability to sign up in so few steps is a huge positive for users, along with auto following those you do on Instagram. Will also be great for advertisers as I presume it will be very easy to expand current marketing campaigns from Meta Ads on to this platform.”

Being able to sign up easily is a quick win for marketers and brands and it looks and feels incredibly similar to Twitter. 

It’s early days but it still lacks some of Twitter’s winning functions and features such as advanced search and hashtags. It’s unclear how the algorithm or advertising will work and some accessibility campaigners have complained that they are unable to add alt text to images or captions to video recordings too.

Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, posted on Threads that the team “couldn’t be happier” with all the excitement about the new app and it was a “race to the starting line”. He adds that for lots of the basics Twitter has and that users love – such as search, hashtags, a following feed, graph synching, fedeverse support and messaging – the team is on it and “cranking away”.

“I can really see Threads making serious inroads into Twitter, which has been a basket case since Elon Musk bought it to supposedly fix it. Yes, there are features like search missing but I’m sure they’ll be added later. The really interesting point is that this is connected to Instagram and not Facebook, which is clearly becoming the grumbling grandad of social media,” explains Richard Michie, CEO of Leeds-based marketing firm The Marketing Optimist.

“I joined Threads this morning and I’m really encouraged. The sign-up process was so simple: just connect via an Instagram account and you are away. I have lots of followers already, as they pick up from the Instagram feed which is a huge plus point. The interface is a doddle, too. Chapeau.

“For businesses, it’s a very good idea to get your brand on Threads as soon as possible. With any new social media platform early adopters will get a huge audience and reach boost, the longer you leave it the more chance your competitors will take the opportunity you are missing out on. Threads will have a new algorithm too which means you can begin to get it to work for you so much quicker. There’s no advertising option yet but I’d expect that to be added in the very near future.”

Social media is abuzz with excitement about the new app already, which is only available on mobile currently. North West brand MattressTek said it has “jumped on the band wagon” but hopes it will not just wind up as another social media phase. Supermarket chain Aldi, of course, has jumped onto Threads with a typical witty post.

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Aldi Threads

To Threads or not to Threads, that is the question…

You can find Prolific North on Threads here.

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