Paid and Owned Media

How to Use Threads: A Guide for Brands

In the vast landscape of social media platforms, a new contender has emerged, revolutionizing the way we connect and share content. Threads, Meta’s innovative short-form, text-based social platform, has quickly gained traction with its unique features and seamless integration with Instagram. What will this new entrant into the space mean for advertising opportunities? Before we get into that question, let’s start with the basics… 

What is Threads?

Threads is Meta’s new short-form, text-based social media platform. It allows individuals to post up to 500 characters or share videos for up to five minutes long. The focal point of the platform is the Home tab, where a single content feed comprises all the posts, aptly called “Threads.” Sign-up is seamlessly integrated with Instagram accounts, enabling a fast and easy onboarding process for users.1 This integration not only facilitates effortless adoption but also broadens Meta’s overall user base. In the “Home tab” feed, users can discover content from people and brands they follow, as well as recommendations curated by Instagram’s algorithm. Impressively, Threads gained a staggering 70 million users within its first 48 hours, already accounting for almost one-sixth of Twitter’s user base.2 

Threads vs Twitter: How is Threads Different?

Threads provides an alternative for Twitter users who are increasingly dissatisfied with recent changes in the ecosystem. With the introduction of Twitter Blue, a verified subscription model, and limitations on the number of tweets users can view per day, Twitter has faced growing backlash. In contrast, Threads, along with other alternatives like BlueSky and Mastodon, does not impose paid tiers or post limits. Moreover, Threads outshines its competitors by seamlessly integrating with Instagram, resulting in Threads becoming the most rapidly downloaded app ever.3

How to Use Threads

The Instagram Threads app is extremely easy to use. With an intuitive platform that is like Twitter, there is a limited learning curve. Here’s how to get started: 

How to Sign Up for Threads

Once you download the Threads app, open it, and click “Log in with Instagram” to simply import your Instagram profile information. Finally, you can follow the same accounts you follow on Instagram.

How to Navigate the Threads App:

Within the app you will find a row of icons: 

  • The home button brings you to your feed. 
  • Search for specific accounts using the magnifying glass button. 
  • Create a new thread by clicking the pen-and-paper button. Threads are limited to 500 characters and you can add a photo, video, or GIF by pressing the paper clip icon. 
  • View your activity using the heart button. 
  • The profile button takes you to Threads profile. 

How to Use Threads for Brands

A new social platform means excitement for how brands can reach their target audience in new, fresh ways. While Threads has no ads to leverage yet 4,5, here’s how Ovative experts advise marketers to start thinking about Threads: 

  1. Seize the Opportunity for Early, Organic Engagement:  

    Given Threads’ popularity and expected growth, it is likely to introduce monetization strategies in the future. Marketers should take advantage of this early stage and experiment with innovative ways to organically connect with customers, leveraging the platform’s short-form content and engaged user base. 

  2. Keep An Eye on Future Tactics Like Branded Content and Data: 

    As Threads gains momentum and could become an integral part of Meta’s social media ecosystem, marketers should closely monitor its impact on media performance. While advertising is not yet available on Threads, marketers are paying close attention as user counts continue to skyrocket. In the meantime, it is rumored that Instagram is planning to bring its branded content tools to Threads to signal sponsored posts.⁶ For now, brands should continue to disclose any paid partnerships through texts or hashtags.

    With Meta’s first-party data growing, understanding how Threads influences user behavior will be crucial in developing a comprehensive Meta strategy, especially when advertising options become available. 

  3. Take Advantage of Meta’s Growing Social Media Portfolio:  

    Threads represents a significant development in the trend of social media platform portfolios, like those established by Google and ByteDance. Meta’s diverse range of social platforms allows for strengthened user engagement, data collection, and targeted marketing. Consequently, we anticipate Threads to surpass Twitter in size, solidifying Meta’s position as a leader in the ever-evolving social media landscape. 

With its concise yet engaging format, seamless integration with Instagram, and rapid adoption rate, Threads has captured the attention of millions of users worldwide. As marketers, it is crucial to recognize the potential of this emerging platform, experiment with creative engagement strategies, and prepare for future monetization opportunities. Stay ahead of the curve and speak to an Ovative expert about how your brand can integrate future media opportunities into your marketing strategy.  

1WSJ | Threads vs. Twitter: What’s the Difference? 
2CNN | Meta’s Threads upends social media in less than 48 hours 
3The New York Times | Threads Becomes Most Rapidly Downloaded App, Raising Twitter’s Ire 
4The Verge | Why Instagram is taking on Twitter with Threads 
5Instagram | Introducing Threads: A New Way to Share with Text
6Axios | Scoop: Branded content tools coming to Threads

Lillian Smith

Senior Analyst, Paid Social

About the Author

Lillian is a Senior Analyst on the Paid Social team at Ovative.

Dale Nitschke

Dale Nitschke

CEO & Founder

About the Author

Dale is the Founder and CEO of Ovative. After years of operating a large omni-channel business and leading a customer data initiative, Dale knew there was an opportunity to create a marketing firm that helped clients become more customer centric and drove better performance outcomes. A gap existed between business consultancies and advertising agencies that modern marketing approaches demand. He also believed that a strong, healthy culture could attract and develop smart, talented team members. In 2009, he formed Ovative to bring media, measurement, and consulting together under one roof to enable an enterprise approach that drives more revenue and grows clients’ customer base.

Prior to founding Ovative in 2009, Dale spent 23 years at Target Corporation where he served as President of and grew the ecommerce business from start-up stage to a $1 billion+ business and established the foundation of Target’s Guest database capabilities. Previously he served as SVP Merchandising at the Department Store Division of Dayton Hudson. Dale has advised retailers and brands globally on business, growth, marketing, and measurement transformation strategies.

Outside of Ovative, Dale is a leader on topics including business strategy, change management, and team leadership. He serves on the board of Allergy Amulet and on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison.  He enjoys spending time with his family, up north in northern Wisconsin, playing golf, and cheering on Wisconsin sport teams.

Seth Brand

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Seth is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative.

Amanda McCann

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Amanda is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative, specializing in Retail Media Networks.

Jenny Reinke

Senior Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Jenny is a Senior Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Annie Zipfel

Executive Vice President, Media

About the Author

Annie is the Executive Vice President of Media at Ovative. She oversees delivery and growth across paid and owned media (digital, traditional, and retail media) and creative services.

Annie has more than 30 years of experience in media, brand management, insights/analytics, marketing, and product. She has also developed large, high-performing teams and built new measurement capabilities. Annie led the marketing team at Andersen Windows & Doors, leading the digital, social, content, customer insights, and creative functions. Prior to that, Annie served in multiple marketing leadership roles at Starbucks, REI, Target, and General Mills, with a keen focus on brand, media, insights, analytics, and measurement.

Annie is an industry leader in brand management, customer insights, e-commerce, social media, and analytics. She enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, fishing, and spending time with her sweet dog and two sons.

Bonnie Gross

Executive Vice President, Talent Services

About the Author

Bonnie is the Executive Vice President of Talent Services at Ovative. She is responsible for attracting and retaining top talent and creating a culture in which our team thrives personally and professionally. Under Bonnie’s leadership, Ovative has defined an industry leading leadership and development program and transformed our approach to talent recruitment with a focus on diversity, equality and inclusion. Prior to her current role, Bonnie led Ovative’s Client and Business Development team overseeing client satisfaction and new growth opportunities.

Before joining Ovative in 2014, Bonnie spent 13 years at Target Corporate as the VP of digital and Digital Marketing where she led the launch of Cartwheel, an industry-leading social shopping application. Bonnie was the VP of Marketing for Fingerhut for 15 years prior to joining Target.

Leander Cohen

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Leander Cohen is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

Will Silva

Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Will is an Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Sarah Chang

Sarah Chang

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Sarah Chang is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

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