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Threads, Meta's "Twitter Killer" app, launched last week and has already been the topic of serious media coverage. Bloomberg, The Economist, and The New York Times have all published multiple stories and Joanna Stern at the WSJ has a helpful roundup of the differences between the two platforms (both the WSJ and Joanna herself are good ones to follow on Threads). Since the ‘era of Elon’ began earlier this year, several Twitter replacements have gotten buzz, but none have really stuck.

Will Threads be any different? And if it is, what will that mean for financial services marketers? Here’s our take so far:

Will Threads replace Twitter for journalist engagement?

A major use case for Twitter in financial services was the forum it provided to follow and connect with journalists, analysts, and policy audiences. I took a quick look at some prominent journalists across finance and technology to see whether they’re set up on Threads. The takeaway? Every single one is an active Twitter user, but only three were on Threads as yet (just two actively).

Side note: The search function on Threads isn’t very sophisticated yet, so unless you know someone’s username they can be difficult to find – I may have missed some.

Reporter Threads Twitter
Neil Callanan, Bloomberg No Yes
Peyton Forte, Bloomberg No Yes
Liz Capo McCormick, Bloomberg No Yes
Alice Fulwood, Economist Yes Yes
Madison Derbyshire, FT No Yes
Lauren Hirsch, NYT Yes Yes
Jeff Sommer, NYT Yes Yes
Angus Loten, WSJ No Yes
Jason Zweig, WSJ No Yes


It’s definitely one to watch but, as it currently stands, it doesn’t look like top financial journalists have migrated to Threads en masse.

What is the channel for and what’s the right tone of voice?

I also looked up a few leading finance and tech companies to see if they were on the app yet. Two primary observations – a lot of companies have claimed a username but not posted anything (e.g. Citi). For those that do have a profile, it was striking how casual and informal the posts were – the day I did this initial research, Taylor Swift had just released an album and the interchange below is between Salesforce, Tableau and Sprout Social riffing on that news.

At least right now, Threads for brands seems to be less formal, capitalizing on the personal, casual style of Instagram – just with words rather than pictures. People’s expectations when they come to the platform isn’t necessarily to see branded content or to read the news – in fact, one comment on a journalist’s post was along the lines of “we’re not here to share news!” For execs, an early opportunity could be in blending the personal and professional, showcasing individual expertise authentically by joining in conversations with your network. 

A screenshot of a Threads post

You can’t search for words or hashtags yet – so a brand’s page isn’t likely to be found by people browsing for information or who don’t currently follow the page. The integration with Instagram means that as a personal user, it can be very quick and easy to set yourself up and get a few followers already. If you weren’t using already Instagram as a brand, however, or your brand’s Instagram page served a specific content purpose (e.g. employer branding), you might be starting with a very small or very specific follower base.

Practical considerations of adding a new social platform to your workflow

Threads can’t be integrated into social media management tools like Buffer and Hootsuite at the moment, meaning you can’t schedule content or monitor mentions and topics seamlessly alongside your other channels. This could make it more difficult for brands to have a meaningful presence without a dedicated engagement resource.

It’s worth realistically assessing the time and resources required to experiment with a new platform. Adding another social platform to your program, especially one in its very early days, will require a lot of experimentation and monitoring to see what works – it’s unlikely that you can recycle your content from elsewhere and see instant success. It might be most sensible to wait a while to see how Threads shakes out, taking the time to map out what a meaningful engagement could look like for your brand, rather than rushing to be a first adopter for the sake of it. That’s not to say that you can’t engage at all – experimenting as an individual can help you get familiar with Threads and give you ideas for how your brand might be able to engage authentically.

The impact of the fediverse and the risks to be aware of

The ‘fediverse’ is the concept of a “new type of social media network that allows people to follow and interact with each other on different platforms, such as Mastodon” (taken from the sign-up screen you see when you join Threads). It’s built on the idea that services and networks interoperate - you can move your content and followers from one service to the next, and people can find and engage with you even if you’re not using the same service.

The fediverse could be the biggest potential risk for brands, as the decentralized approach could mean no content moderation, potentially leading to indirect association with extremist, hateful or false information. There is also a question around editorial control - if you share something on one channel and it's logged on an uncontrolled server, you may not be able to delete or edit it easily. Not all content ages well and the ability to retro-edit is important. Today, the fediverse aspect of Threads is still in the planning stage, and Meta has released little detail. While there are many unknowns to consider, decentralized social media does have a lot of supporters – particularly when it comes to data privacy and ownership.


We're closely monitoring the platform. Threads is certainly not the first social network to see significant initial growth, but those early exponential growth numbers don’t always translate into consistent use.  Twitter’s own history shows that usage morphs significantly over time. Threads is also currently ad-free, but Meta’s ads engine is robust and seamless across Facebook and Instagram. It’s surely a matter of time before ads arrive on Threads, particularly if this new app is taking people’s time (and dollars) away from Instagram. Cognito isn’t on Threads just yet but that’s not to say we never will be – I’m personally there, so feel free to connect with me (although I can’t promise you won’t just find ballet content).


Hannah Porritt is an Account Manager in Cognito's New York office