How to use Threads
How to use Threads???? NO IDEA!
Surely no-one really knows yet, right? Well, apart from Mark Zuckerberg, Adam Mosseri (Head of Instagram) and a handful of people who worked on its technical development before launch. But even they are not arrogant enough to think they can dictate the way this platform will develop when it’s primarily led by user-generated content.
If you want information ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’ (so to speak), then I found this:
https://about.instagram.com/blog/announcements/threads-instagram-text-feature – which is from Instagram themselves.
However, I feel I owe it to my Content Clubbers, clients and followers to ‘explore’ this new platform and here’s some of my initial thoughts (…that’s what a blog is for, right?) in response to some questions I have heard already.
“Should I join?”
If you have an Instagram account, then yes definitely. It is really easy to do on your phone, once you have downloaded the app. You can just transfer your profile and it will find your Instagram followers who have joined Threads (which is a good thing = instant followers ….and a bad thing = not much of a fresh start).
Even if you don’t plan to use Threads, I always recommend to clients that they ‘claim’ their profile because you want to have the same ‘@name’ if you can and your business name. If the platforms grows, then there is a chance someone else will take it…which is annoying. Plus, in future, if the social media platforms where you are currently active in lose popularity or even shut down completely, you’ll be glad you have a profile elsewhere.
“Should I join in?”
It’s completely up to you. Do you have the time? Do you have the headspace? Do you want to?
If you answer ‘no’ to any of these, then don’t worry about it!
If you are curious (like me)…have a bit of FOMO (like me), then take a look around. Just be a ‘lurker’ if you want. Only create content if YOU WANT TO.
“What’s it like on Threads?”
I’ve used the platform for about two hours in total so am in no way an expert, but here are my thoughts so far:
- You create a ‘thread’ by clicking on the little square with a ‘pencil’ at the bottom of your screen (similar in style to Instagram).
- There is a 500 character limit …so more than Twitter, but no where near what you add to a post in LinkedIn, Insta or Facebook.
- You can include links (i.e a website address) in a Thread, it will be clickable, and a preview will appear (so like LinkedIn)
- You can’t edit a thread you have published, only delete it ….or just live with that glaring typo!
- You can add 10 photos and also gif and video content (which is a shame, I think, as I thought it was text only) – add it via the paperclip
- Text only is fine (not like Instagram, for example, that needs an image)
- There is no DM or messaging feature
- I didn’t find a ‘going live’ function
- I haven’t gone through the privacy settings, so no idea what you can do there but there are private profiles, apparently.
- For others’ threads, you can ‘like/heart’ (there is just the one rection option), comment, repost, quote (which is adding own thoughts before reposting) and share a thread (the options include adding to your Instagram story, posting to your Instagram feed, Tweeting (this is utterly hilarious…wonder what Elon thinks?!), copy the link or share via other options).
- The newsfeed is similar to Twitter, with lots of posts and then replies underneath, but your profile looks like Instagram at the top.
- It is overwhelming like Twitter – you leave it for 10 mins and I seem to have loads of notifications and have completely ‘lost’ what I was reading or responding to, so I’ve been using the ‘replies’ thread via my profile or the notifications tab (heart at the bottom).
“What does the future hold for Threads?”
Who knows?! It is only 24 hours or so old…so let’s see.
I have seen some great calls for it to remain a more friendly and community space. I think people want a platform without advertising, in all forms. Not for people to promote themselves, but just offer conversation starters.
I know there is a lot of resistance to their being sponsored posts or for their to be only strategic ways to ‘beat the algorithm’.
I think that’s a bit of a utopian view as this platform (like others) will want to make money and is open to businesses to join. However, equally, I am behind this being a nice fun space. From my early experience, I agree with Jude Wharton from Ready Steady Websites:
But can we truly keep ‘business’ and ‘social media interaction’ separate? It’s hard when social media remains the key for many businesses to be visible.
As an aside, however, I felt the same about TikTok use and businesses. I wanted to leave it to those (mostly younger people) who just wanted to have fun creating videos – no commercial angle and for purely entertainment…and a space for those who didn’t want to contribute to just ‘watch and scroll and be entertained’ …but I guess that didn’t last long!
…I’m going to sign off there…as this really is just my own personal reaction to this new platform…what the future holds? We will see…. What will I recommend to my Clubbers? …watch this space…