Threading the Needle on Social Media -

Threading the Needle on Social Media

What’s Happening?

You may have noticed recently, things have not been as they should at Twitter HQ. As to how this pertains to us, we’ve noticed many social plugins for WordPress suddenly break, along with Twitter’s native embed codes. Free access to their API was pulled with little notice leaving plugin authors and site administrators scrambling to fix broken services and missing feeds. Where your organisation’s Twitter feed once was nested neatly on your website, there may now simply be a white void in its place.

The unfortunate reality is that we don’t know when the issues will be resolved. And with limited access on platform itself and goalposts often moving with no notice, many users are looking to other options.

Enter Threads

On the 6th July, Meta –operators of Facebook and Instagram– announced the hurried launch of Threads, their answer to the microblogging side of social media. The launch had been moved up to capitalise on Twitter’s latest difficulties, and as such, was not the final, full-featured experience we were perhaps expecting. It also featured some limitations, like being tied to your Instagram account, therefore limiting your ability to delete without impacting your Instagram feeds. However, these problems are reportedly to be resolved in the coming weeks.

Current basic features include:

  • 500 character limit – up from 280
  • 10 images per post – an increase from Twitter’s 4
  • Videos up to 5 minutes – an increase from Twitter’s 2:20
  • Standard Like, Comment, Repost, and Share via buttons, similar to Instagram and Facebook.
  • Integration with Instagram with the ability to crosspost your Threads as an IG post, or as a Story which directly links your Threads account.
  • Follower migration from Instagram
  • Your organisation’s verification status is carried across, so no need to reapply.
  • In-app links between organisations’ Threads and IG accounts
  • No read limit or mandatory account to see posts.

Features that have been announced in the coming weeks:

  • Edit post button
  • Dedicated following tab
  • Post search and #tag
    + more to be announced

Along with this, we anticipate an official API release meaning it won’t be long before custom feeds and plugins will be arriving.

How your org can transition

The good news is, if you have a larger following and steady engagement on Instagram, you can easily migrate over to Threads with your followers, provided they have made an account already. For those that make an account later, you’ll be notified and an automatic follow will occur. 

There are a few things to keep in mind before signing up:

  • There has been some talk regarding the terms and conditions of content you upload to Threads, and who it belongs to. It’s worth noting that Threads TOS is the same as Instagram’s and Facebook’s, therefore, if you’re already uploading content to those platforms, the rules are no different. In practice, it allows them to use your content for editorial and advertising purposes, for as long as it lives on their platform. These rights cease when you remove your content. We’d always recommend reading the small print when signing up for new platforms!
  • At present, your Instagram and Threads profiles are linked at the account level, (hence the ability to carry over your @username), but operate out of different apps. This means that –right now– if you want to delete your Threads once activated, it will ask if you want to delete both. You can however easily deactivate your Threads profile without affecting your Instagram account. This will hide your profile, but keep all your posts visible to you until you decide to reactivate. This may change with future expansion or once user onboarding has achieved a certain level.
  • While the open-source API is yet to release, a number of 3rd party paid plugins and services have sprung up, so while there are ways to embed your feeds in your site, these are presently coming at a cost. You may wish to hold off and wait for more accessible options to become available.

What does it mean for us?

As one of our services is social media content, stands to reason we’ll be adjusting what we can offer clients going forward. We’ll be giving our clients more options for content and advertising going forward and evolving as the social media landscape changes.

If you’d like us to look at options for switching to Threads embeds on your website, drop us a line [email protected] 

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