Threads: should your nonprofit join the new social app?

Róisín McGovern
Digital Training Lead
14 Jul 2023

Meta’s latest app gained over 100 million users in just a few days, becoming one of the fastest growing apps ever. To put this into perspective, it took two months for Open AI’s ChatGPT to reach 100 million users, and we thought that was fast!

What is it and how does it work?

Threads is a new app for sharing short real-time messages, and joining public conversations online. Similar to Twitter there is a character limit, your posts can be up to 500 characters long, and can include links, photos, and videos.

Because Threads is built by the team at Instagram, you can log in using your Instagram account, and connect with the same followers on the new app. You can also easily share a Threads post to your Instagram story or feed, or any other platform of your choice.

Should your organisation join Threads?

Like with any new social media platform, before you get swept away in the excitement of a new app, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions. Is this app right for our organisation? Is it right for our audience? Do we have the capacity to manage another platform? What are our goals in using this platform, what are we hoping to achieve?

Because the app is so similar to Twitter in how you share content, and because you can essentially ‘carry over’ followers due to the Instagram integration, there isn’t a huge amount of learning and adjusting to do. You can start posting and initiating conversations online in a format that you are already familiar with, and to followers who already know who you are.

If you plan on expanding your social reach to Threads, it’s a good opportunity to shake things up a little and push your social media skills. Rather than produce the same traditional fundraising and communication messaging, test out a new tone and trial new content ideas. Threads is all about conversational messaging, people connecting with people in a real and informal way. Reduce the formality of your content, and inspire real conversations with your online community. For nonprofits especially, this could be an effective tool to build trust online, and strengthen relationships with your existing digital community, as well as expanding into new audiences.

Threads questions answered: what we know so far

Can minors create an account? Anyone who is under 16 (or under 11 in certain countries) will be defaulted into a private profile when they join.

What accessibility features are available? The core accessibility features that are available on Instagram,E.G. screen reader support and AI-generated image descriptions are also enabled on Threads.

What content will appear on my feed? You will see a mixture of content from accounts you are following, and algorithmic recommendations. At the moment, there is no way to only see the content from accounts you follow.

What safety measures are in place?

Instagram’s Community Guidelines are enforced on content and interactions in the app. You can also unfollow, block, restrict or report a profile on Threads, as well as control who can mention you or reply to you within the app.

Despite being available in over 100 countries, it’s helpful (and important) to remember that Threads is still in its development phase. The team at Meta will be adding new features in the coming weeks, and will hopefully be able to answer the many questions social media experts still have about the app. Watch this space! And, in the meantime, connect with Lightful on Threads and let us know what you think of the new digital platform.

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