“Oh, God: not another one.”

It wasn’t just me thinking this, right? My initial reaction at the somewhat sudden launch of Threads, Instagram’s “social” Twitter (ahem: “X”) rival, earlier this year was mild incredulity.

Another social media channel to watch. Another social media channel to consider for business purposes. Another place to “be”. It’s all become a little overwhelming, hasn’t it?

Yes,… and no.

These platforms are important in business and branding. You have to be where your customers are – you have to keep your finger on the pulse. But will Threads be the next big thing or another also-ran? And should you, as a business-person, care?

Let’s take a look.

80% of Ouch.

The question of Threads’ status in social media hierarchy, and its longevity as a platform, is an interesting one. It certainly started well.

Within 2 weeks of launch, Threads had over 100 million users signing up – half of Twi,… X. that’s extraordinary. Cue reams of online headlines calling it the “biggest launch ever”.

It was certainly an impressive start – but that’s only part of the story. Longevity depends on more.

Sure, lots of people wanted to dip their toes – frustrated at the direction of X and desperate for an alternative that didn’t involve a certain Mr. Musk. Was the platform delivering enough for them to stick around, however? News on that front has not been encouraging.

After that initial 100 million user surge, things on Threads went a bit quiet.

According to a report in Gizmodo from August, statisticians had calculated that 80% of Threads’ shiny new users were largely inactive. They came, they saw, they shrugged their shoulders.

Lots of people wanted to check it out but only 20% of them found that they wanted to stick around when they got there.

This mirrors my own experience – initial excitement followed by a hollow feeling of missing features and an inability to really see events as a whole.

X’s value came from its ability to collectively experience events. Hashtags allowed you to jump in on a wider conversation en masse. Threads doesn’t have this. Yet.

Threads’ future depends on their ability to re-engage with their inactive users. Hashtags are promised. Search is promised. Time will tell.

20% of 100 million is still 20 million active people, though. It’s still, on a broad scale, successful. There’s an audience there for businesses to reach and, if Mark Zuckerberg and his team can address the deficiencies of the platform, that should grow.

But Why Do We Care?

What does it matter in the grand scheme of things? MySpace came and went. GooglePlus Google’d out. Vine was pruned. Should we care for another social media platform?

Well there is something a bit different about Threads.

Without overbearing advertising (again: yet), there’s a feeling of honest community that Threads is trying to foster. The idea that this is a space for discussion, free from politics and consumerism.

“What, no advertising!?”

No, none. But this does provide an opportunity: integrity.

There’s an expectation of honest thought on Threads. If someone shares a review or a recommendation, people value it more because there’s no outright marketing going on. If you can build a community and a following based on genuine appreciation for you, your products or your services, it’ll resonate.

It’ll build goodwill – and that’s the best form of advertising there is.

Word of mouth costs nothing.

So maybe Threads has a chance and maybe it doesn’t but, so long as it maintains its aim to be a more genuine social space with more honest communication, you need to have it on your radar.

Explore it, think about it: consider how it could be uniquely placed to help you reach potential customers.

Just don’t place all your eggs in that basket just yet.