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Opinion: 24hrs with Threads...

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24hrs with Threads


It's been an entire day since Threads by Instagram launched. Adityan Kayalakal, former Global Social Media Head - BYJU'S, shares his firsthand experience of the initial 24hrs with the platform.

Now, I’m not the let's spend too much time and post a ton on social media types. But the first 24hrs with Threads was unlike any other. The app literally crossed 50mn users in this time frame. So here’s most of what you need to know:

So easy to use

Meta and Instagram made onboarding so simple for existing Instagram users. Literally 2 clicks and you were in. But the interface was reminiscent of early Twitter before it became the bloated mess it is today. And the similarities to Instagram made the learning curve almost flat.

Creator heaven

Creators are bound to love this since they don't have to build their following from scratch. They get the benefit of their large followings thanks to the simple options on onboarding which allow you to follow everyone you already do on Instagram. This has been reflected in early numbers with 20 accounts crossing 1mn followers. That said of the 50 most followed Instagram users, only 17 have so far signed up for Threads amassing a collective 27.665mn followers thus far. Here is the ranking of the most followed profiles on Threads.

Rank Handle Followers in millions (Latest) Insta Followers
1 Instagram 4.5 648
2 NatGeo 2.7 281
3 MrBeast 2.6 38.6
4 KimKardashian 2.6 362
5 Shakira 2.1 87.6
6 WillSmith 2.1 63.1
7 ChrisHemsworth 2 57.3
8 Zuck 1.9 11.7
9 JLo 1.9 249
10 NBA 1.9 82.2
11 Kylie 1.9 397
12 433 1.8 65.3
13 SelenaGomez 1.8 425
14 Netflix 1.7 33
15 Champions League 1.7 107
16 KhloeKardashian 1.6 310
17 Fabrizio Romano 1.4 19.7
18 KourtneyKardashian 1.2 223
19 Ellen 1.2 139
20 Manchester City 1.1 46.4

Early mover advantage

Creators who moved early to the account have definitely reaped the benefits, look at accounts like MrBeast, Chris Hemsworth, Will Smith, Mark Zuckerberg, 433, Fabrizio Romano and Netflix. None of them feature in the top 50 most followed accounts on Instagram (roughly 80mn followers plus), but all of them have over 1mn followers on Threads already.

In comparison, Nike which has 301mn followers joined a few hours back and while the numbers are steadily climbing, it's not the dizzying ascent that the initial 17 had. But maybe this will change in the next few days.

Also Read: Opinion: I spent 6 hours on Threads so now you have to too

EU left out

Amidst the fanfare of launching in 100 countries, they left out that this is not launching in the EU. Now there are many theories on this, but the data collection aspect (and man does Threads collect a lot of data) could be a significant reason for this.

Heavy usage

On July 6th, the world seemed to doing everything on Threads. My very first post on the thread was a joke that everyone in the marketing world must be on the app figuring out what’s special about it. But it wasn’t just the marketing world, it was a ton of people. 50mn+ people to be slightly more precise.

That said, I also used it enough to break the platform (at least this is the error message I got)

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But I expect usage to go down as the days pass and it will be interesting to see how where it settles and what the use case for most people will be.

Early Brand Gets The Worm?

One visible thing was how quickly a lot of brands jumped onto the platform. Most major brands jumped on quickly. Pages are already up for major car brands, sports brands, FMCG etc. I was particularly impressed with how Netflix and the NBA got on board. Check out their pages, it's a hoot.

Same formats, new platform

The most surprising thing for me from the pov of a social media person was how quickly content calendars were moved on to Threads. There were brands and creators posting on Threads in the first 24hrs as if they’d been there for years. This is mostly down to the fact that they haven’t really brought in a new format. Text limits are similar to most other platforms, and image and video options too. So not a lot of rethinking had to be done to adapt existing content to this new platform.

Is the heat on for Twitter?

Yesterday, for sure. I expect Twitter to try do everything to overcome this, but this is definitely the stiffest challenge they’ve faced. But that said, Threads isn’t the discovery and news platform that Twitter is and by leaving out trending, they have pushed back how quickly they take that role on as well. This could also explain why Twitter is threatening to sue Meta over the platform.

The Fediverse???

When you logged in, you would have noticed a mention of the Fediverse. Luckily Ankit Vengurlekar was nice enough to break this down on Threads.

What’s next?

Well as more big-name creators and celebs come onto the platform in the next few days, we can only wait to see what happens. Imagine what will happen when Messi or Cristiano comes on board. But hat-tip to the early adopters. Their quick call to jump will definitely benefit them on the platform. But how relevant it stays in our life every day is something that remains to be seen.

How did you come across Threads?

Did you search for Threads on the app store, on Instagram (and get your custom invite - pics below) or some other way entirely? Let us know in the comments.

Did you know you can check your user number?

So go to your Instagram profile to see what your Threads user number is. Yes, I wish they had just kept it in the Threads app itself. But fun stuff. Threads and Instagram are both User No. 0. Mark Zuckerberg is User No. 1 and Adam Mosseri (the head of Instagram) is User No.2. If you know the rest of the first 10 users, drop us a note.

Bonus: If you search for Threads on the App Store, 2 apps pop up. One by Instagram and another one by Threads Group (meant to be a Slack replacement) which now clearly calls out - not affiliated with Instagram. Wonder how many people downloaded that by mistake.

This article is penned by Adityan Kayalakal, Sr. VP of Brand Marketing - Stealth Startup.

Disclaimer: The article features the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the stance of the publication.

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