An older woman leans on a table with one hand held to the side of her neck and the other hand holding a smartphone. The woman has short white hair and wears glasses and a gray long-sleeved shirt with white pearls on the cuffs. She looks at the smartphone in her hand with a smile. In the background, out of focus, is a large room with windows making up the back wall and another wall lined with shelves holding boxes. Potted plants can be seen around the room.
Threads has many functions in common with X, the app formerly known as Twitter, but Meta's new social media platform has several of its own unique features. — Getty Images/nortonrsx

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, recently released a new app called Threads. Built by the team behind Instagram, Threads is a similar concept —and direct competitor— to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. And, while the app is still developing, it gained 100 million users in less than five days. Here’s what you need to know about Meta Threads and how it could fit into your marketing strategy.

What is Threads?

Threads is a new app for text-based conversation that users can access with their Instagram login. The app can be downloaded on iOS and Android devices. Once you log in using your Instagram account, you can choose to follow the same accounts you do on Instagram, or start fresh and find other users to follow.

Every user’s main feed will include threads posted by accounts they follow, as well as recommended content from new creators (similar to TikTok’s For You feed). Posts on Threads are up to 500 characters long and can include links, photos, and videos up to five minutes long.

Some journalists have dubbed Threads the “Twitter killer,” since Threads is very similar to the older social media platform, which has been struggling since Elon Musk’s acquisition.

What are some of Threads’ unique features?

For some, Threads feels like a lighter version of X.

“Threads is algorithmically curated, just like Facebook or Instagram. That means when you come in, you see a bunch of different posts based on your interests, whether they were posted five hours ago or five minutes ago,” wrote Mike Isaac in the New York Times. “That’s a departure from what we’re used to with [X], where the marquee feature is the reverse chronological timeline.”

It’s worth noting that Threads is still very new. The version currently available only includes a few unique features, such as:

  • The “Mute” setting, which allows you to stop hearing from accounts you find annoying without unfollowing or blocking them.
  • Control over who mentions you through a privacy setting that allows you to choose between allowing your account to be linked to by everyone, only people you follow, or no one at all.
  • The ability to choose who can reply to your posts on a post-by-post basis.
  • A setting that will alert you when you’ve been browsing longer than a set period of time, allowing you to control your notifications and decide to take a break.

Otherwise, the Threads user experience isn’t all that different from X.

[If] you get a lot of your new clients from social media and use it to maintain existing relationships, it could make sense to get in on the Threads action.

Emma Newbery, The Fool

“For users who would like a[n X] that (a) doesn’t break all the time and (b) isn’t full of Elon Musk fans begging for attention, Threads provides a viable alternative,” said David Karpf, an Associate Professor at the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs.

[Read more: 4 Business Use Adjustments For Twitter’s Policy Changes]

How to use Threads for your business

It’s still very early to tell if Threads will have staying power. However, one thing that makes it unique is that there’s a built-in user base. Accounts are easily transferable from Instagram, giving Meta the power to scale incredibly fast.

For your business, it’s worthwhile to claim your Threads account and get acquainted with the user experience. “[If] you get a lot of your new clients from social media and use it to maintain existing relationships, it could make sense to get in on the Threads action,” wrote The Fool. “Think about how important your social media presence is for your business, and how much time it already takes up.”

It’s also worth noting that once you create a Threads account, it’s hard to go back. For now, Threads is linked to your Instagram account. If you decide to delete your Threads profile, you would also have to delete your Instagram page. However, Meta says it’s working on this issue and will allow you to deactivate your Threads account for a limited period of time.

[Read more: Meta's Small Business Studios Aims to Aid Social Media Content Creation]

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