Threads: A New Social Media App

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Threads logo displayed on a phone screen and Threads on App Store displayed on a screen in the background in this illustrated photo by Jakub Porzycki with NurPhoto.

Threads is a new social media app from Meta, the parent company of Facebook.

Threads is here. Meta’s answer to *Twitter launched this month, and it accrued 10 million users in its first 7 hours and over 100 million users to date.

Megan Ellisor, director of the NC State Social Media Hub, a group of social experts that help guide and coordinate social activities for partner colleges and units, provides an overview of the new platform.

*As of July 24, 2023, Twitter has begun rebranding, including a formal name change to “X.” While it will take some getting used to, we refer to the social platform formerly known as Twitter by its new official name – “X” – in this post.

Threads is Similar in Functionality to X.

But there are some key differences to note:
  • Posts on Threads have a 500-character limit (X’s limit is 280).
  • Videos on Threads can be up to 5 minutes long (X’s limit is 2:20).
  • Hashtags do not work on Threads (yet), though Meta has noted it is on the list.
  • Threads cannot be used on desktop computers at this time (i.e. mobile only).
  • Threads is directly connected to your Instagram account, so you keep the same @handle. Users have the option to automatically follow all of the same accounts they follow on Instagram, or start with a blank slate.

Who is On Threads?

At this time, the primary audience on Threads appears to be millennials – people born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 27 to 42 in 2023) – though this is quickly evolving as more users activate their accounts.

What is NC State’s Approach to Threads?

We are approaching Threads with the same strategy we use for the main @NCState account on X — for now. We will cross-post to Threads to gauge what works. This will likely evolve as the platform evolves, but this is the most seamless way for us to integrate this new platform into our workflow. We will still be active on X at this time.

Can I Schedule Threads via Hootsuite or Other Social Media Management Tools?

Not at this time, but I have no doubt this will be in the works if the platform continues at this same rate of growth and engagement.

Should I Create a Threads Account for Work Purposes?

This will be different for everyone. If you don’t already have a strong X and Instagram presence, I don’t recommend diving head-first into Threads. I highly recommend connecting with your college/unit communications team (see Extension Marketing and Communications) before pursuing any new social platforms.
It’s important to note that at this time, it appears you cannot delete your Threads account without also deleting your Instagram account.
Although there is a lot of buzz around Threads early on, it’s too soon to determine if it has longevity. However, while many X competitors have launched in the past several months, the Meta-backed platform appears to be the best positioned to rival X. We’ll be closely monitoring the platform’s growth and engagement to determine our long-term strategy.

How Can I Access Threads?

Threads is only available on mobile devices at this time – see Apple App Store or Google Play Store – and an Instagram account is required to create an account on Threads. Find more details on how to create a profile on Threads.

We strongly encourage you to review and complete a local marketing plan before dedicating your limited time and resources to any new social media platform. This marketing planning process will help you define goals, identify key audiences and the best ways to reach them, confirm success metrics, and ensure consistency and cohesion across your marketing efforts.

Connect With Us

Extension Marketing and Communications is always available to help you, including Caro Metzler, the social media specialist for NC State Extension and CALS, who can assist with your local social efforts.
Extension also provides a variety of social media resources, including tips, tools and templates to help you use social media effectively and responsibly.
Read more about Threads, and find university social media guidelines and resources at NC State Social.

(A version of this article was originally posted by Megan Ellisor on the CALS Intranet.)