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Threads Offers Fresh Start for Brands — But What About Ads?

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Whether you like it or not, the recent arrival of Threads is impossible to ignore for brands and consumers alike. The only thing bigger than the number of people joining is the buzz it is creating around the globe

Threads, an Instagram app, surpassed 100 million users less than a week after launch. Those numbers alone are enough to make Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg blush. Yet, there are so many questions about what the social media platform is, does, or will do in the future.

The mystery — including what it could ultimately mean for ecommerce merchants — is part of the intrigue, especially without a known rollout plan for monetization or advertisements.

A New Wave of Social Engagement

Threads is Instagram’s text-based conversation app. Posts have a limit of 500 characters, and the app also supports links, photos, and videos up to five minutes long. It’s free and available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Here is a synopsis of the new social media phenomenon:

“Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow. Whatever it is you’re interested in, you can follow and connect directly with your favorite creators and others who love the same things — or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions and creativity with the world.”

Threads is here to compete with Elon Musk’s Twitter. It offers a clean slate and fresh opportunity for people, brands, and companies to engage with each other. 

Other than that? It’s all crickets from Meta… for now.

The Ecommerce Business Impact of Threads

Threads is new. Very new. What this means for brands and online stores — other than it connects with Instagram — is rather murky. However, this is only the beginning.

According to Axios, Instagram’s branded content tools could be on the way to possibly help with paid promotions. And considering this is Meta at the helm, launching Threads with no ads doesn’t mean ads won’t be there eventually.

Judging by the initial response and droves of initial users, that day could come soon as well.

Let’s also not ignore the potential impact of social commerce if Meta decides to integrate shopping into Threads like it did with Instagram Live Shopping

Considering the social commerce forecast of global sales is expected to reach around $2.9 trillion by 2026, the implications for online stores, particularly at the enterprise level, could be enormous if that happens.

For now, though, this is a new beginning of sorts, which has most social media teams and influencers exploring as much as they can right now.

“It’s a fresh start that harkens back to earlier days of social media, when users weren’t so divisive and brands weren’t solely focused on conversions or advertising, but truly focused on connection. Brands are totally leaning into more human voices and casual topics, a trend that started on Twitter and I hope remains the norm on Threads.” 

— Leah Spector, Senior Brand Manager at BigCommerce

The future of Threads is unknown, but the possibilities are endless. 

The Final Word

With Threads, Meta hit a booming home run in the first inning. This was clearly in the works for a while and could prove to be a game changer.

There are some concerns, however, but that always seems to be the case when a company such as Meta releases something new like this.

How long will the buzz last? Does the platform actually have true staying power to compete with Twitter? Is it merely the shiny, new, accessible toy of the summer? The list goes on and on.

Right now, there are more questions than answers. The next move  — whatever it is and whenever it comes — will help define its place.