Meta Threads has been a major topic of conversation online. Threads is essentially positioning itself as one of the most successful social media app launches ever by capturing the attention of 73 million users in a matter of days. We sat down to share five of the biggest lessons we took away from the launch of Meta Threads (and no, we’re not talking about how you can use it as a business owner).
A sneak peek is that our final takeaway is spicy.
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What is Meta Threads (and why is it so successful?)
If you’ve been constantly scrolling on Meta’s new app, Meta Threads, then we encourage you to take a look at some of the key things that made its launch successful.
When Meta Threads was first announced, many of us were worried, maybe even irritated that we had to join another social media platform. Fortunately, Threads made it easy: Meta Threads is tied to your Instagram account.
Many are calling Threads a direct Twitter competitor. Whether you think Threads can truly compete with Twitter or not, brands large and small are joining up and seeing what this platform is all about. Our mission is to unpack why Meta Threads has seen so much success, and what independent business owners can learn from its meteoric rise.
Now, before we dive in, it’s important to note just how successful a launch Meta Threads has had since its launch last week. Within a few hours of launching, they had 30 million users. In comparison, it took Netflix 3.5 years to reach 1 million users, Twitter took 2 years, Facebook took 10 months, Spotify took 5 months, ChatGPT took a couple of days, and Meta Threads took a couple of hours.
Lesson 1: You don’t need to be first to be successful
As powerful and innovative as it might feel to be the first to do something, you don’t have to be the first to be successful at a concept or service already on the market. Meta Threads (or Twitter, for that matter!) is not the first text-based social media platform out there. Additionally, we’ve seen Zuckerburg copy the features of other platforms before, in order to build and grow his brands. How does he do this so well? He’s successful at improving preexisting concepts and implementing them in his brands because he listens to his customers and what they want.
If we think about the potential success of Meta Threads in the long term, the user numbers are striking. With 2 billion active monthly users on Instagram, if just 20% of them move over to Meta Threads, they will surpass Twitter’s 300 million active monthly users.
Lesson 2: Launch and learn as you grow because failure is a foundation for future success
The second lesson we’ve taken away from the launch of Threads is that when you release a new product, feature, or business, it may not be right the first time. The good news is that, as Meta Threads supports, failure is the foundation of success. Last week wasn’t the first time we’ve heard of Meta Threads.
Back in October of 2019, Facebook launched Threads for Instagram, where they were trying to compete with Snapchat. It didn’t gain the traction they expected and was eventually rolled into the Instagram app as the Close Friends feature.
What we can learn from Meta’s launch strategy
Meta is known for launching things at an MVP (minimal viable product) level. The products are never fully developed, but simple enough to get the interest of users and build from there. This allows them to pivot and revisit features based on user feedback. In this case, they pulled the original project and revisited it later, creating this new version of Meta Threads that has taken off.
Sometimes you don’t have a bad idea. Sometimes it’s just the wrong time to execute that idea. Don’t let that discourage you.
Lesson 3: Critical feedback is a gift (if we are willing to receive it)
If you’re new around here, part of our mission is advocating for the needs of independent business owners. Part of this is understanding the challenges independents have around technology. One of these challenges historically was the introduction of changes to the Instagram algorithm. This leads us to our third lesson from Meta’s release: Understanding that critical feedback is a gift if we’re willing to use it to take action.
When Instagram started out, it was a photo-sharing app. It’s since evolved into an entertainment app with a focus on video, and the refocus on video content in Instagram’s algorithm shifted how photo content shows up to users. This meant trouble for independent business owners without the bandwidth or resources to create robust videos early on. The consequence of the change was that many independent business owners’ content was no longer being seen. Many people told Instagram about these struggles, and Meta took them into consideration.
How your response to feedback can help grow your business
Every platform receives critical feedback about its functionality. It’s what you do with the critical feedback that matters. One of the cool things about Meta Threads is that it resolves the issues that many independent business owners have struggled with when it comes to this shift in prioritizing video.
For example, public critique of Twitter encouraged Meta to resurface Meta Threads, what many call Twitter’s competitor, and something many Meta users wanted: a text-based platform. In creating a text-based communication platform connected to their curated visual content on Instagram, they were able to pull Instagram users over to Meta Threads pretty easily.
Rather than responding defensively to feedback, it’s important to listen to your clients and look for the truth amidst the criticism. Meta’s leaders, Zuckerberg and Mosseri, have been open to feedback on Threads, responding directly to users and accepting ongoing criticism. This receptive approach builds trust, ensures people feel heard, and leads to improvements in your offerings.
Lesson 4: Experience is everything
In regards to the ease of pulling users from Instagram, one thing that Meta Threads got right was the seamless integration with Instagram that allowed for very minimal friction in setting up your account. In under 60 seconds, users were able to download the app, connect their Instagram, and begin using Meta Threads. They truly thought about the user experience when they launched this platform and here are a few of those features:
- Simple account creation.
- Integrated bios, profile photos, and links.
- Integrated option for followers.
- Content can be instantly shared to Instagram.
While certain platforms limit access to all users unless they pay or are invited in, Meta Threads opened the doors to anyone with an Instagram account. By doing this, Instagram demonstrates that they prioritize user desire and ease of use. FOMO (fear of missing out) is no longer as powerful as a frictionless, community-driven experience.
How to decrease friction in your business
Meta Thread’s user-first initiative is applicable on the independent business owner level, too. How easy is it for a client to contact you? What friction in your clientflow is keeping clients from booking you, or referring you later?
In a study by HoneyBook in partnership with Visa, 86% of clients booked the business that got back to them first. That’s why crafting a seamless clientflow is so important.
Decreasing friction can increase your client base, and getting back first is made easy with features like automated personalized responses in the HoneyBook app. It helps you provide the best possible experience for clients, from lead qualification to delivering services, to nurturing your relationships. With features like priority leads, personalized automated responses, and secure contract management, HoneyBook is designed to help you make your clientflow seamless.
Lesson 5: People are drawn to people—not perfection
The social media status quo has been broken. Why? Because people are drawn to people.
When you take a look at how one platform (Instagram) has idealized curated feeds, then you put those same people on a platform that is all about the human connection through idea sharing (and sassy jokes 😉), the users become unhinged—in a good way. People become very real.
These perfectly curated Instagram users become, in the absence of photos, very human. Meta Thread users share their personalities through quips and conversation, and it has been SO refreshing. In the first few days on the platform, we found that no one wanted to talk about marketing or business—they simply approached the platform with authenticity and connection.
Our Meta Threads TL;DR
Hot take: Meta Threads is pure fun.
Right now, we encourage you to use Meta Threads to build relationships and enjoy exploring the platform. We don’t know what is going to happen over the next few weeks with Meta Threads, but right now, we recommend using it…for fun.
Important moments in the episode
- [3:00] The growth of Threads
- [6:23] Lesson 1
- [10:30] Lesson 2
- [14:23] Lesson 3
- [17:51] Lesson 4
- [27:35] Lesson 5
Connect with us on Threads
- HoneyBook: @honeybook
- Akua: @akuakonadu_
- Natalie: @nataliefranke