Implications of Threads on B2B Marketers

December 20, 2023 0 Comments

Implications of Threads on B2B Marketers

17 July 2023

Understanding the Launch of Twitter-alternative Threads

With the recent launch of Twitter-alternative Threads, B2B marketers are now contemplating how this new platform will shape their marketing strategies and engage their target audience. Meta describes Threads as a ‘text-based conversation app’ and the interface is very similar to Twitter.

It is designed to be a space “where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow”.

Posts on Threads can be 500 characters long (compared with 280 for most Twitter users) and videos of up to five minutes in length can be shared. A post can also be shared as a link on other platforms and posted directly to your Instagram story.

“Users are required to have an Instagram account in order to use Threads. Once you download the app, it will prompt you to login using your Instagram account. From there, Threads will automatically port over your Instagram username, but you can still customise your profile.

Threads gives you the option to automatically follow all of the same accounts you follow on Instagram, or just a few of them so that you don’t have to painstakingly locate all your friends and followers on Threads.” –

How Threads Can Influence B2B Marketing Strategies

The launch of Threads raises questions about the potential disruption it may cause to traditional patterns of relationships and networks in B2B markets. Will Threads become a substitute for social media or personal interaction in business circles, or will it complement existing communication channels?

The opportunity to integrate across the platforms that Meta owns, like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, offers potential for B2B creators to promote engagement and further amplify traffic using Threads. However, the key challenge for B2B creators and business networks living on Threads is that the app is built with Instagram’s technology. This means the contacts and people automatically recommended to follow probably overlap much more with an individual’s personal life than their professional one. And without an easy way to customise your newsfeed or create multiple, different feeds, it may struggle to fit in for business purposes.

The Pro’s:

  • Threads is backed by Meta, so has plenty of celebrities, brands, and social media influencer attention already.
  • It’s very easy to sign up and start using (if it’s available in your country, that is!)
  • From a targeted advertising perspective, Threads collects much of the same data Twitter collects from users, such as user content, contact information, search and browsing history, device identifiers, purchase history, and financial information.
  • As above, Meta is tightly integrated with Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp already, so from a creator’s POV it’s another place to promote content easily to maximise reach
  • The Con’s:

  • For now, Threads users cannot customise their feed, as the main timeline is a list of Threads from random Threaders, and there’s no way to change it. Threads has no direct messaging feature, but users can share a Thread they like to their Twitter feed.
  • Threads won’t be launching in the EU for now, because of “complexities with complying with some of the laws coming into effect next year” — a statement The Verge suggested was a reference to the DMA. “The DMA establishes a set of competition rules for the largest digital gatekeepers, including many U.S. tech giants such as Meta.
    Under the rules, digital gatekeepers must not preference their own services on their platforms and must ensure their instant messaging services are functional with those of competitors.” Lauren Feiner CNBC. Read more about that here:
  • If you want to delete your Threads account, you will need to delete your Instagram account as well.
  • What do business influencers think about Threads?

    @Brett Schklar: “You are going to see a lot more business showing up on Threads. It might bring back Instagram as a viable platform for B2B.”

    @Tom Goodwin: “Leaving Twitter is a bit like “moving to Canada”, it’s something everyone performatively declares, but few carry through with. The user that Twitter cares about is a power user gorging on content, whipped up into commenting, and who contributes by posting stuff.

    While there are millions of these people ever more pissed off by Elon’s antics, enraged
    by the site’s nasty behavior, affronted by advertising, they now have the option of both leaving Twitter AND finding a new familiar home. But I don’t think this is going to happen en masse.

    @Jane Frankland: “Threads has quickly gained in popularity, with over 100 million people signing up in its first week. While advertising is not yet enabled on the app by parent company Meta, it presents a unique opportunity for businesses to connect with customers and followers in a more personalised way. Paid promotion opportunities with influencers presents a perfect opportunity for businesses to establish their voice and identity on Threads early, gain a competitive advantage, and build brand awareness among the app’s growing user base. Businesses should act quickly and strategically to leverage the app’s potential through influencers before advertising becomes available.

    @Sally Eaves: “My take – it’s Yes and No! My initial positives are the more personal feel aided by the link to your own Instagram account, alongside a reduction in fake usernames and of course the current absence of traditional ads. Additionally, the 500 Character Limit and 5 Minute Video options are useful, especially compared to Twitter. However, this is also a good moment to reflect beyond the numbers and height of coverage, especially thinking back to the first few months of Clubhouse’s launch as just one example.

    It has to be noted that the ease of sign-up via a user’s existing Instagram account has given Threads the fast track to achieving its exceptional launch numbers – but what happens beyond the short-term? For Threads not to ‘unravel’ to another Clubhouse scenario I believe it must develop its own distinct offering, identity and ultimately value – not be an extension to Instagram or a replacement for Twitter barring any platform implosion there, and supported of course by the quality of the platform and content itself. As an example re features, currently missing areas include a Following feed, direct messages, a chronological feed, full web version and more.

    This is especially the case when we consider just how established primarily text-first platforms like Twitter (c.237 Million Daily Users) and LinkedIn (c.137 Million Daily Users) are – and where people have invested significant time in building high quality and highly engaged networks. Indeed perhaps it is no coincidence that the Threads logo embodies the look of a ear – as the platform begins to truly discern its own identity I believe for brands and organisations of all sizes the time is now to listen – allow consumers the space to explore and establish their how and why of being on the platform. Then as always – it’s time to meet them where they are.

    @Jade Tambini: As with any social media platform it’s important for B2B marketers to be aware of how its target clients are using it. While a spin-off from Instagram (not necessarily the strongest B2B platform for engaging with prospects, over LinkedIn), Threads does have more of a conversational element than its image based older cousin.

    I’ve seen a couple of B2B brands appropriately connect with their clients by joining into conversations relevant to what they provide. Could Threads be a place to connect with our clients and build a more personal relationship, or will that just be creepy? In reality no one knows exactly what this platform will be or do quite yet but it’s worth checking out if our clients are on there as well as engaging with any partners or industry bodies/ events putting out content to increase connections for the brand. In a nutshell, I recommend all marketers “lurk” on there and see how things progress, and if there is the bandwidth to experiment in a new social channel – what is there to lose?”

    Who in B2B is already Thread-ing?


    B2B creators as well as marketers may be ready for an alternative to Twitter, but tbd on if Threads is the answer. There are still many loyal and active business communities on Twitter (cybersecurity, data privacy and security communities, developers and engineers, and those in fintech and defi to name a few). Not to mention nearly everyone is on LinkedIn. Lastly, it is very difficult to change the behaviours of large communities all at once (B2B or otherwise).

    Given this, here’s the features and benefits ‘wish list’ we’ve come up with for a new B2B social media platform:

  • The core micro-blogging features of Twitter
  • The sheer scale of professionals active on the LinkedIn network
  • The recommendation engines of Youtube or TikTok. Using a social graph approach like Instagram or LinkedIn, instead of a content-led one like TikTok, seems particularly challenging for a new B2B social platform.
  • For creators, the ability to have a direct relationship with your audience and develop your own paid-for subscription models (a la Substack)
  • For those interested in running influencer marketing, having a creator marketplace like TikTok would be ace.
  • The ability to have break-out communities or side chats like Discord or Whatsapp
  • Do you think differently? Have you seen any initial B2B marketing or conversations actually happen on Threads?

    Please share!