I have long said that relying too much on any one platform is a bad idea. So when a new platform launches, it catches my eye. Meta’s Twitter-copy, Threads, is shaping up to be Zuckerberg’s answer to Musk’s Twitter.
And while there are many questions about Threads as yet unanswered, one thing is certain: This new platform is already massive, and it’s a golden opportunity for content creators to build an audience – even if you don’t plan to use Threads as much as you use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or the like.
But should you join Threads? Or not?
Different sites bring different users.
While it can be a pain to manage multiple social networking sites and platforms, it’s important to remember that each site – and each type of site – appeals to different demographics and types of users. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Tiktok and the rest are great but they don’t all appeal to all users.
They work differently and host different kinds of content. Instagram is more visual. Twitter is text-based with a few photo and video features thrown in. Facebook is a bit of a mix. Tiktok’s short form content is a bit hit with younger audiences. They each appeal to a slightly different group of users.
Being active across the spectrum will put your brand in front of a wider audience than you might otherwise have if you were to stick to just one or a two sites.
So while the concept of Threads may or may not be appealing to you, it’s hard to recommend someone avoid Threads right now. The fact is, it’s growing massively, and adoption numbers have been staggering. I think any content creator with a brain would be crazy to not want to jump on that wagon – if for no other reason than to reach even more eyes than might otherwise have been possible.
Go where the audience is.
Building a brand online is often a numbers game. We want to get as many eyes on our content as possible, and in order to do that we need to be where our potential fans are. Right now, Threads is one of those places.
In it’s first day, Threads gained many millions of users. That’s impressive. That quick growth was, no doubt, fueled by the already-present popularity of Facebook and Instagram as Threads is just another Meta property.
Already several big names have set up accounts there, and I expect that will continue over time.
Threads will no doubt appeal to those who have been using Instagram or Facebook but haven’t used or haven’t been active on Twitter. Because Threads allows users to quickly follow all accounts they were already following on Instagram, the friction in moving from one platform to the other is low, which makes sense as Meta wants to get as many people onboard as possible.
While I personally have some concerns about Threads – and Meta overall – I can’t deny that this is a massive opportunity for content creators, and that may be reason enough to join.
Any platform can disappear at any time.
This is one of the biggest reasons I advocate for being platform independent. Even if you’ve built a massive audience on a platform, and you love it there, you can’t guarantee that it will be around forever. Can you?
I can’t. No one can. I can’t guarantee that Facebook won’t one day become the next MySpace or Xanga. (Ah, nostalgia.) I’m sure Meta will fight hard to not let that happen, but you would feel pretty awful if you had built your entire brand on that one platform only to have it disappear down the road.
I know I would.
So it’s never a bad idea to get a good footing on more than one site and actively build an audience.
Twitter is great – despite a few gripes I have with it. Facebook probably isn’t going anywhere. But none of us knows the future. And that holds true for Medium or any other platform as well. Building an audience is great, but you should never rely on just one site for that because no one can predict just how long it’ll be around.
And if you do jump on Threads, keep the same thing in mind where that site is concerned. Other social networks have come and gone. While I hope that Threads will be around for a long time because options and competition are good, remember to continue investing in other, well-established sites.
You might do better on a different platform.
Each site has its own algorithm, and even if your content is fantastic, you’re still at the mercy of the algorithm. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the rest know what kinds of content their users want to see and will actively prefer some content and so that content is pushed while some barely sees the light of day.
To be clear, it’s good for every content creator to understand what we can about how a site’s algorithm works. We should learn what works and doesn’t work. But even if you play by the rules and try to make the algorithm happy, certain types of content just won’t do well.
And so, you may find that your brand of content performs better on Threads than on Facebook or Twitter – or the other way around.
Since Threads is still relatively new, we’re all in the same boat and learning the ropes. But I have little doubt that some people who have struggled a bit on one platform may find better success on Threads, and conversely some who have done well on other platforms may find growth a bit slower on Threads.
None of us knows for sure yet, but personally I’m excited to dive in to Threads and see how it grows and where it goes over the next few months and years.
But… Here’s the thing about joining Threads…
There are already so many social media sites. Threads is just the latest in a long line of options. Yes, Threads does look cool, but does that mean you have to use it? No. Of course not.
If you can keep up with creating GOOD content while being active on Threads and Twitter and… fill in the blank, then great. But if it becomes a burden, don’t. Don’t spread yourself too thin. There comes a point at which yet another social media network is just too much.
I plan to stay active on Twitter and elsewhere while continuing to explore Threads. But if it becomes too much, I don’t expect that I will post there much.
After all, it’s better to focus on just a couple of platforms and be consistent than to join every site and be consistent with none.
If adding yet another to your workflow is going to cause you to be less consistent and produce lower quality, lower value content elsewhere, then don’t. Otherwise, I think Threads is full of opportunity for content creators. Just what form it takes in the coming weeks, months and years has yet to be seen, but it will be interesting to watch.