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5 things to know about brand marketing and the future of ads on Instagram’s new platform, Threads

Threads turns one week old today, and the platform already has 100 million users, making it the fastest-growing app ever, according to CNBC. Instagram’s new venture looks just like Twitter but the tone of posts is kind of like Facebook, and its first few days have been a wild west for marketers. Here’s what marketers should consider about Threads monetization.

1. Ads are likely—the when, what, and how are uncertain. “If we are successful, if we make something that lots of people love and keep using, we will, I’m sure, monetize it. And I would be confident that the business model will be ads,” Instagram’s head Adam Mosseri told The Verge.

  • Instagram will see $40.21 billion in worldwide ad revenues this year, according to our forecast. The platform has the opportunity to boost that figure while eating into Twitter’s projected $2.98 billion worldwide ad revenues.
  • Instagram has beaten Twitter in worldwide ad revenues since 2017. Threads could leverage Instagram’s existing ad network, data, and user behaviors to build a much stronger ad platform than Twitter.
  • Mosseri hasn’t said what ads would look like, but it’s possible that Instagram will include Threads placements with Instagram ads.
  • “I think that most of the ad units that perform the best, at least initially, will mimic organic,” said Ryan Detert, CEO of influencer marketing agency Influential.

2. Expect organic brand content, and lots of it. A quick scroll through Threads reveals that brands immediately jumped onto Instagram’s new platform. Its users are already pointing out the fatigue of scrolling through a feed that feels oversaturated with brand accounts. That means brand marketers need to find a way to stand out, either through encouraging organic interactions or shaking up the very millennial, Facebook-like voice common on the platform right now.

3. Threads uses the same terms of service as Instagram. Assume the rules you abide by when posting content and working with creators on Instagram holds true for Threads. Instagram’s branded content tools aren’t available on Threads yet, but they will be soon, according to Axios. When in doubt, disclose paid partnerships explicitly.

4. Threads users can’t schedule or draft posts. That means brand posts need to happen the old-fashioned way—with a social media manager writing (or pasting) and posting manually. It’s entirely possible that scheduling functionality will arrive soon, but for now, everything needs to happen in real time.

5. Sign-ups won’t stay this high. Threads grew at a monumental pace, capitalizing on the existing audience of Instagram’s 1.42 billion users worldwide, according to our forecast. But with so much brand activity, recycled memes, and limited discovery features, the user experience is far from perfect. Threads activity may slow down in a few months, the same way ChatGPT activity has. There’s plenty of reason to get excited about Threads, but keep an eye on daily and monthly user activity to make sure the audience sticks around.

“I am bullish on [Threads],” said Detert. “[Creators] see this as their reprieve or their next shot to have the next big platform.”


This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.