On July 5th Meta officially launched Threads. Within days it had over 50 million signups.
People were calling it the Twitter killer.
Mark Zuckerberg was hailed as a genius. Writes, commentators and pundits from every corner of the internet fell over themselves to be the first to explain how Threads was going to change the way tech companies do business.
Every social media guru on the internet tried to ride the wave of news. Emergency podcasts were done, trainings were announced.
Everyone wanted to capitalize on the fear and greed in the market.
I knew better.
Threads Never Had a Chance
Threads was never going to be a success. And anyone with an ounce of marketing knowledge could have told you that.
I made my opinion clear on Twitter and then posted those thoughts to Threads shortly before deleting the app from my phone.
Today Threads has amassed over 70 million downloads. Unfortunately for Zuck, that’s where the good news ends.
Threads has fewer than 13 million active users who spend less than 4 minutes per day on the app.
And the numbers are falling.
Contrast that with Twitter’s 259 million active users who spend an average of 30 minutes a day on the platform. Numbers that are slowly climbing.
It’s a Battle of Perception Not Product
In 1994 marketing legends Jack Trout and Al Pies wrote a book called “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing”
If you haven’t read it you should. But you didn’t even need to read the whole book to know that Threads was going to be a disaster.
All you had to do is read the first two chapters.
In those chapters, the authors talk about the importance of being first to market (Twitter) but if you can’t be first then you must create a new category where you can be first.
The first product in a category will take between 50-75% of the market share in that category. Everyone else fights over what’s left.
There’s no point in being the second tomato soup brand. Or the second Belgian imported lager.
To survive you’ll need to create a new category. You need to be the first chunky tomato soup. Or the first LITE Belgian imported lager.
It’s why most brands fail. They’re focused on packaging, logo, and tagline but never create a way for the consumer to identify them as uniquely different.
What Makes Threads Unique?
They allow 500 characters instead of 280.
You can use your Instagram Login.
They make it easy for your followers on Instagram to follow you on Threads.
But there’s no distinctive category difference between the two platforms.
From what I can tell, Zuckerberg created Threads as a moral crusade to combat Twitter “hate speech”.
But what he really said was,
“If you want a more regulated and white-washed public forum where we censor certain speech we don’t like – then come on over to Threads!”
It never stood a chance. And it won’t matter how many billions Zuck pumps into it, or how easy he makes the signup process.
It will never be the category leader.
How You Can Profit From Zuckerberg’s Mistake
If you want to stand out in a hyperconnected world full of distractions you have to make it easy for your audience to put you into a box.
If you want to be a copywriter you can’t just be “the next copywriter” who’s better than the other copywriters.
You’ve got to create a category distinction.
Someone who’s done an amazing job of this is George Ten.
He’s not a copyWRITER. He’s a copyTHINKER.
And he calls himself the Grammar Hippy. Also a category distinction from your typical grammar nazi.
Using this distinction along with a lot of personality, he’s gained over 172,000 followers on Twitter.
This week I want you to think hard about what differentiates you from the other people in your industry.
Try to come up with a single word you can own in the minds of your prospects.
It doesn’t even have to be a real word. George owns CopyThinker. A word he made up to set himself apart.
Once you have that word you can begin associating it with your name to build a unique brand that goes beyond your product or service.
A brand that puts you in a category all by yourself.
Until next week,