Why Meta vs. Musk is Bad for Business (Opinion)
It sounds like a bad joke. What do you get when two billionaires start fighting? A platform that didn’t need to exist and another that’s trying...
It sounds like a bad joke.
What do you get when two billionaires start fighting? A platform that didn’t need to exist and another that’s trying it’s hardest not to.
Musk said Twitter is on track to reach $3bn (£2.29bn) in revenue by the end of the year, which is $2.1bn (£1.63bn) less than 2022.
In fairness, Twitter was already struggling before Musk came on board, he’s just helping it along. The good thing is, you can’t lose Twitter followers if it’s no longer called Twitter.
100 million users signed up to Meta’s Threads in the first 5 days (10 million signed up within seven hours) - but anything more than a quick glance will show it still doesn’t come close to Twitter (or X, now?)
First of all, you can’t use it on desktop.
Second of all, you can’t search for trending topics - only accounts - stunting the chance of reaching new audiences and blowing up.
Thirdly, you have to be signed up to Instagram, so users who only like Twitter-like platforms are forced into being on both.
And users are realising how limited Threads is.
A study by SimilarWeb found that Threads has already lost half of its active users.
We now have two platforms nobody’s interested in run by two people hell-bent on making us care.
How are brands reacting?
- Nike threaded “Threads are better with a swoosh” (definitely not awkward)
- Amazon threaded “You can buy thread on Amazon.” (inventive)
- Chipotle threaded “oh look another place for you to ask for free burritos” (👍)
A moment of silence for the poor social media managers trying desperately to make an immediate impact, but slowly realising virality doesn’t yet exist on Threads.
Brands are more likely to benefit from tweeting about Threads than actually being on it.
The only people who seem to be actively using threads are brands and influencers - and that’s not good for business.
Social media was born to connect one person to another, and at its core, it still is that. Social media with just brands and influencers is basically a more obnoxious Amazon.
People want their branded content spread throughout their feed, but Twitter (sorry, X) is now more chaotic than ever whilst Threads is the equivalent of a bread sandwich.
And everyone on Threads only wants to talk about Threads, but now the immediate hype is dying, so is all interest and engagement. Twitter has more features, more users, and more of an active audience, so why would the average person bother with Threads?
In order to be successful, social media needs people to be social. It needs people to be natural. It needs people to have fun.
Take a look at TikTok. Originally, it was just a place for users to upload goofy videos of them lip syncing and dancing to music (see: Musical.ly). It wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it offered a space that users didn’t have before - at least, not so specifically.
From that base, it built into the juggernaut it is today: a thriving community of individuals and brands alike quickly and easily jumping on contextual trends to engage with one another.
Brands can smoothly fit into the conversations their audience are having, showing off their personality and culture, learning what their audience enjoys.
Threads is trying to fill the gaps Twitter/X/Musketeer is opening, but it doesn’t do nearly half as much. So, users have no natural need to open an account, and brands only do so because they feel the need to be doing everything, everywhere all at once.
No natural, human use means no business opportunity.
The reason Meta vs. Musk is so bad for business is because they’re more focused on outdoing each other than improving user experience. And without real life human users, brands have nothing.
Meta released threads because Twitter was failing and Musk took over Twitter because he took a joke too far.
My advice is to watch this space.
The social platforms you choose to be on should align with the rest of your marketing strategy, and the rest of your marketing strategy should be consumer-centric. If your customers aren’t on Threads - or Twitter - you don’t need to be.
You shouldn’t feel obligated to be on Threads just because it exists in the same way you shouldn’t feel obligated to eat an entire cake just because it’s in front of you. Sorry, Bruce.
Being on Threads now won’t impact your results long term, but it may take time away from more impactful areas - like Twitter (I’m refusing to call it X).
We don’t know if Threads will thrive, like Instagram, or die, like the Metaverse. Until we know more about it, sit back, observe, and stick to your strategy.
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