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"Thread" Lightly: What Brands Need To Know About This Emerging Social Media Platform Amidst our artificial intelligence-charged world, Threads underscores the undeniable power of dialogue. For brands, it serves as a stark reminder that even as we get deeper into digital complexity, the potency of authentic conversations remains unrivalled.

By Heena Mak Edited by Aby Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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With an impressive count of over 100 million users amassed in just five days, there's no question that Threads was able to profoundly shake the social media space when it launched. Indeed, its ties to Mark Zuckerberg's Meta and its range of dominant platforms gave Threads its quick edge.

However, the pertinent question right now is: will Threads solidify its place in the long run, or does it risk becoming another Clubhouse, momentously popular, yet transient?

But first, let's see what makes Threads Tick.

With its rapid ascent in social media, Threads has captured the audience's attention by harking back on nostalgia and reminder of a simpler time. As much as I still enjoy the endless scroll of a hyper-aware TikTok algorithm, the directness of simple tweets, memes, and conversations draws me in with a no-frills approach. The social media space is crowded, and Threads brings back the reason why we all first joined a social platform: connection.

That said, the disruption of Twitter -which has now been rebranded as X, by the way- has been a long time coming, especially since its Elon Musk takeover. Amidst the operational dysfunctions, what X did differently from many platforms is make social engagement into a paid model; in parallel, its plunging popularity amongst the masses led to many brands and individuals being dissatisfied.

X may not have realised that requiring brands to invest more does not necessarily increase engagement or visibility. SOCIALEYEZ's clients are a testament that brands will likely remain on X, but an easy inclusion of Threads might benefit early adopters organically. And unlike channels such as TikTok, the cost of creating content for a text-based platform is significantly lower.

So, how can brands leverage Threads? Here are a few of its attributes that you should be keeping an eye on:

1. CHARACTER COUNT Threads has already carved out its space with unique features that are catered to brand visibility. Its generous 500-character limit per post, compared to X's 280, provides brands with an increased opportunity to communicate their narratives more comprehensively. Sharing longer, five-minute videos can enable richer storytelling and engagement. With the new platform, brands can repurpose their previously created content, leading to more content diversity.

2. AD-FREE EXPERIENCE Currently, Threads offers an ad-free experience, giving users uninterrupted engagement with content. This is more than likely short-lived. Once enough audiences sign up; more brands will be drawn in; naturally, ads will be integrated. As ads become available, the Meta cross-channel integration will favour brands on Threads, compared to X, which will still require standalone spending.

3. SIGN-UP INTEGRATION Integrating Instagram at sign-up implies that brands have a ready pool of potential followers. It's a shot in the arm for Instagram-focused brands, as they can effortlessly transport their marketing efforts onto Threads, and still garner engagement.

Related: Threading A Conversation On Threads (With Early Adopters Of The Social Media App In Dubai)

4. ACCOUNT SAFETY Privacy and safety are other areas where Threads currently has a one over X. Meta claims that applying Instagram's stringent content guidelines and user privacy settings can foster a safer, more controlled environment for brands. For years, platforms have struggled with misinformation and personal safety; while Threads is no exception to the rule, there will be better preparedness as user profiles across Facebook, Instagram, and Threads will be interconnected.

5. THE COST OR LACK THEREOF Threads already claims a no-barrier, free-to-use approach that promises greater access for brands of all sizes, unlike X's split into free and paid X Blue tiers. The division of X has favoured larger corporations, allowing them to rise to the top. However, this change has caused smaller, niché brands that are just beginning to exclude X from their digital approach.

6. IN-APP MESSAGING When it comes to in-app messaging, it is a point for X. The absence of an in-app messaging feature in Threads currently poses a hurdle for brands that rely heavily on direct communication with their audience. While responses can be managed publicly, brands that rely heavily on customer service based on personal details and delicate user information may find themselves at a crossroads. Having said that, I do think this feature will be integrated sooner than later.

7. VERIFICATION X's move to paid verification stirred controversy, as it potentially dilutes the symbol of trust, the blue tick. This change has made brands rethink their social strategy. Threads, on the other hand, offers an attractive alternative. If a brand is verified on Instagram, they're verified on Threads. This could save time and money and maintain the credibility that a verification badge bestows. In essence, Threads' verification process could become a quick advantage for brands already recognised on Instagram.

Trends always come back, and Threads is living proof of this. Returning to the app formerly known as Twitter's original roots is a refreshing approach for people and brands, making marketers re-access what people seek. Amidst our artificial intelligence-charged world, Threads underscores the undeniable power of dialogue. For brands, it serves as a stark reminder that even as we get deeper into digital complexity, the potency of authentic conversations remains unrivalled. It is too soon to tell whether Threads can keep its momentum- but its swift popularity reaffirms the timeless value of conversation in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Related: Every Brand Has A Story, But It's How You Choose To Craft It That Ensures Its Impact

Heena Mak is the Director of Strategy and Research at SOCIALEYEZ, a digital engagement agency whose core purpose is to empower organizations to build more meaningful relationships with their target audience. By combining an understanding of client objectives with an understanding of user behavior, SOCIALEYEZ implements digital engagement strategies that increase the level and quality of engagement.

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