As Instagram burst on the scene with the latest Twitter competitor, Threads, sentiment has been overwhelmingly positive. But much of that initial energy may be subsiding. Will Threads stand the test of time and succeed where others have failed? Let’s take a look!
How does online feel about this new social channel addition? Things started out overwhelmingly positive, but Threads App sentiment has subsided since then. The immediate surge of conversation and excitement has since dropped off dramatically, but Net Sentiment is holding steady at 97% (on a scale from 0-100).
What does this mean for the app’s longevity? Will interest continue to wane, or will new users consistently trickle in and tentatively test the waters, slowly expanding the platform’s utility by degrees? This could go many ways, and we’ll explore some key factors that will impact its ultimate success or demise below!
Understanding the Initial Response
The initial response to its release makes sense—Instagram’s marketing was enticing, offering access in waves, with a ticket icon popping up once your account was flagged for entry at a specific date and time:
Talk revolved around how to get a ticket, hopes for it to be “better” than Twitter, and that they were “ready” for new options:
But many were “mad” as well. They were ready because they had to be, not necessarily because they wanted to join. Having another social platform to create a presence on was not on any brand manager’s wish list.
Brand and social media managers are understandably wary, as this is not the first competitor to make a splash and then go nowhere. PeopleWorld summarizes the situation—we’ve seen Mastodon, the much-ballyhooed Clubhouse, and even Google+ couldn’t compete. Each of those platforms offered its own draw as well. The first two are still around but much less active after being
And then how exactly did Google+ fail? When “the” name in online search cannot target and attract the right audience, it should show future contenders just how impossible this road can be.
But is Threads different? If not, it’s a lot of work for little return for these brands, so the resentment here is strong going in.
As observations note, Threads feels like the early days of Twitter and (as of now) largely lacks substance. It’s a fun place to be and is functioning as an early adopter land full of folks hopeful for meaningful engagement with their followers. And yes, Threads has quickly shot past the 100m users mark:
Skepticism makes sense, as Instagram has both many advantages and many naysayers.
Instagram’s Built-in Advantages & Naysayers
First, Instagram has an extensive user base that’s automatically opted in with verified status. This makes it attractive to users seeking to further monetize or promote to their established audience base.
But this substantial number of existing Instagram users are torn. Some have been quick to celebrate the new microblogging option, but a good number are vowing not to participate—at least, not yet. We can see that most of the conversation is neutral and noncommittal. And although this is better than a widespread negative response, it doesn’t necessarily bode well for the app’s longevity either.
Others are calling the attempt ridiculous. One particularly damning review on the Guardian labels it vapid, boring and destined to fail, in fact!
“What if someone invented Instagram without the cute golden retriever photos, without any of the fun? What if someone invented Twitter without any of the serious and snarky back-and-forth about news, politics, ideas, or essential information about weather or pandemics? Someone did.”
It feels a bit harsh but it offers valid criticisms to consider. Although influencers and some activists would like nothing better than to see Twitter die, it inhabits an incredibly specific realm with a worldwide reach. It has seen us through a number of world events, even before the pandemic hit, and for all of its faults, it has consistently offered a crucial way to connect across borders when other methods have failed.
Time will tell if Twitter sticks around through the next phase of our AI-powered transformation, but short of a super specific and concerted attempt at self-destruction, it may be here to stay! And Threads will likely develop its own essential offering in our digital sphere, much like it did with Instagram itself. And this will be exciting for brands to watch and learn from, even if it takes some time to develop.
If you’d like to track its progress and that of its user base, be sure to connect with us, as we’ll be the first to help you understand everything about it from a consumer and market research standpoint!