Group 4

The rapid growth of Threads and how brands can utilise the new platform

Digi x Drapers on the sudden rise and popularity of Threads and how they can use it to grow and nurture their audiences


We spoke to Drapers about Threads explosive debut, how Meta tapped into a current need amongst social media users and what brands and retailers can do to utilise their exciting new platform.


Drapers: Why do you think the reaction to Threads has been so explosive?

Digi: Threads capitalised on a particular moment in culture; one where we were experiencing tech dread in the media and an overwhelming need to let our hair down and be a bit feral in a new way online. A lot of the Big Tech convos have been focused on how AI is going to wipe us all out, but then here comes Threads, delightfully nostalgic, familiar and seemingly low-stakes. Initial threads were chaotically candid and silly, reminding us of our lapsed group chats and Tumblr-era yearnposting. Its connection to our IG self-branding meant we didn’t need to agonise over rearticulating ourselves in a new online space. Our friends were already there with us. 

So, the timing and execution worked. We’ve all fallen victim to failed social media launches, there have been plenty of potential Twitter rivals, but none have the same stature that Meta has to reach critical mass. Users already have an integrated and established audience from day one, removing the barrier to building a new community on a new platform. Most active Twitter users also have Instagram, the UX is slick, and they launched with the biggest creators backing it.

Drapers: What does Threads mean for fashion retailers and brands, should they be rushing to join the platform?

Digi: Brands that have the capability, humour, and community management commitment to being truly reactive will have a fantastic experimental opportunity on Threads. Since the platform isn’t yet fully monetised, the big question for brands is how to use this space to try out new formats, voices, and creative. So much brand creative is over-engineered, formulaic, and optimised for empty view-through data on other platforms, so this is a great opportunity to figure out how to engage IG audiences in a new way and make some genuinely innovative creative.

However, organic, quick-fire formats don’t work for brands that have too much bureaucracy. That’s why conversational apps have always been hard for less culturally-fluent brands who default to a more functional presence on Twitter. But Threads has positioned itself as a friendlier more light-hearted alternative to Twitter, if it can actually become this then brands might have to find their funny.

Drapers: What do you imagine the plans for selling and marketing on Threads could look like? Also, do you think Threads has the potential to become a powerful sales tool in the future as we’ve seen with Instagram and TikTok?

Digi: It’s a tried and tested format, so we know that linking out drives commerce for brands and creators in a way that a lot of social platforms struggle with. But there’s an opportunity for Meta to be far more innovative with how they remake the real value exchange for marketing on Threads. It would be a shame to just see another ad-in-feed situation. Considering the mixed use of IG for inspiration, self-expression, learning, and connecting, it would be interesting if Threads could go one step further and create more meaningful insight exchange between people and products, allowing brands to meaningfully involve their audience in decision making – beyond a poll, of course.

In a wider cultural lens, it would be interesting to see whether the popularity of a more community and text-based format will help people switch off from such vapid consumerism and lean into brands and influencers who quite literally have something good to say. 

Drapers: Ads won’t be accepted on Threads for this year at least, do you think that means it will be more of a free, community space for users?

Digi: Because the app isn’t monetised, brands will need a truly culturally-fluent organic social strategy. Simplicity is often the answer even if it’s incredibly over-thought in the process, and providing something unexpected to really earn eyeballs. Nobody likes a corporate takeover with constant “SALE” reposts. Brands should let the audiences shape the future of the platform organically, and then try and understand the role that they can play and what value they can add to these communities to have a truly purposeful and effective role on the platform.


  • Integrating the IG experience in a meaningful way will be a key challenge in all of this as well as helping brands to leverage existing investment, while exploring and experimenting with a new format. 
  • A big challenge will be to innovate away from the Twitter model. Surely the best minds at Meta can take this initial foundation and create something new with it. It’s both an incredible opportunity, as well as a great pressure for Meta’s product teams. 
  • Back to the nostalgia point – this time we have all of that hindsight on top. We know what could go wrong, so there is more caution to get it right. That almost creates mental blocks for users and brands who might take a more voyeuristic approach than they're used to, which will stunt the growth of a platform that thrives on good conversation flow.
  • We’re also seeing a big risk for both platforms and brands of increased audience fragmentation, as the tension between screen time, political alignment, and the push for safer digital spaces creates even smaller micro-segments and communities across distributed platforms. Brands will have to completely rethink their social presence if the trend continues to pull audiences into more private spaces.  


Read the full article by Rebecca Hill here.

✨ Contributing Fairies

  • Karen Correia da Silva, Strategy Director and Head of Futures