With Twitter announcing new changes to the app, making it less user-friendly, and Meta launching a direct competing platform seven days later, it’s fair to say that the past 10 days have been an emotional roller coaster for social media professionals around the world.
Downfall of Twitter and kick-start of Meta?
Since its acquisition by Elon Musk back in October 2022, Twitter has been in a downward spiral. Once a darling of corporate communication, publishers and brands, Twitter has seen users, revenues and engagement rates plummet. A study by Pew Research Center shows an exodus of people, over 60% of U.S. Twitter users have ‘taken a break’ from the platform this year.
Noticing the downward trend and the volatile nature of Twitter’s strategy and leadership, Meta identified an opportunity to provide a global audience with an alternative to Twitter – Threads. The platform is a text-based app that looks a-little-bit like Twitter, with a 500-character limit, scrolling feed and re-posting options.
The PR team behind “Zuckerberg’s” expertly timed launch should get an award. Following the Asian dawn, by the time USA woke up the app had already had 50 million downloads and received millions of dollars in “free” publicity (thanks to the smart public relations strategy). Threads was unsurprisingly greeted by open arms from huge number of disgruntled Twitter users, who were subjected to adverse changes on the app over the previous weekend (we told you the timing was smart). The results of all this smart insight and expert execution? 100+ million downloads by the end of Threads first weekend.
What’s in it for Brands?
The mark of success of any platform is its ability to attract users, grow a large community and inspire engagement. Threads is looking promising so far… its link to Meta gives it an incredible early advantage, over other Twitter competitors that entered the market recently like Mastodon, Hive and BlueSky as it offers frictionless signup. We think this will be the end of a long and recently volatile reign of Twitter.
The social media landscape has changed significantly over the past 2 years, and the success of new platforms like TikTok show that the power dynamic is shifting. Companies need to embrace new platforms to be present and relevant to employees and consumers of the future. The tone of voice on social media is also shifting, once a place for beautifully produced and curated content, authentic, unedited, unfiltered content is now driving engagement.
Of course, it is very early days, but the opportunities for mass visibility are looking exciting for brands and individuals alike. Our recommendation? Secure your brand’s handles on the new platforms, see what other brands are doing, and, if you dare, have fun!