A New Way to Simplify Threads
For avid tweeters, creating a thread is a common way to engage in commentary and share thoughts and stories that just won’t fit into 280 characters. It’s turning bite-sized content into segmented full fledged tweet-storms and, for marketers especially, it’s a smart approach to long form content creation and promotion. Whether we tweet professionally or casually, most of us have created a thread at some point. Up until about a week ago however, creating a thread was just replying to yourself over and over again until you had a substantial string of messages going.
For the storytellers (and ramblers) of Twitter, and the ones who latch on to every word they say, a good thread can inform the masses about important social issues, entrap people in wickedly funny and sometimes shocking true (or not so true) stories, or absorb people in a creepy ghost story (that may or may not be a sneaky promotional strategy in disguise given to us by Buzzfeed cartoonist Adam Ellis). Whatever the aim of a thread is, it’s proven that they stir up conversation. Threads can however, get incredibly confusing when Twitter replies from other users come into play. A narrative can become convoluted and, depending on the popularity of the thread, it can be almost impossible to sift through replies to get to the main thread.
Over the years, Twitter has studied the way people utilize threads and as of December 12th, they’ve decided to make them an official thing. Creating threads is now much easier and less messier with the new thread feature. Simply compose a tweet, hit the new plus button in the composer, write another tweet and so on and so forth. For organizational purposes, this new addition is a saving grace for cohesive thread creation. Twitter users can now tell stories, connect segments of information, or live-tweet the Oscars or the Superbowl (or what have you) in a way that is much easier to follow.
It works for one-off stories and campaigns as well as continuous ones. You can go back and update threads as you wish and add gifs, images, or videos to each individual entry. Twitter will also space out the entries for you so that timelines aren’t as cluttered and include a ‘show this thread’ label so that users can spot them. Of course, you can always create threads the old fashioned way but this new feature makes it easier for tweeters to share their thoughts and for readers to find and follow along with them. According to a report by Techcrunch, the entry limit for threads is 25 but that may change depending on how users respond to it.
From a social media marketing standpoint, this new feature will smooth out the way marketers can share or promote their organization’s information. For content marketers in particular, threads are a great way to share engaging long-form stories in strings of 280 character or less. Before this new Twitter feature, it would have more difficult for content marketers to hammer in the main points of their content because replies coming in from their audiences would make the message disjointed. Now creators of all varieties can create and update strings of tweets that their loyal audiences can follow. It can also be especially useful for sharing information about contests, following up with polls, sharing true customer stories and anecdotes, and for creating long-term campaigns. Whether you use threads to tell the world about a bad customer service experience you had at your local Applebee’s or to share updates about a breaking news story, Twitter’s new thread feature will help casual tweeters and marketers alike become better storytellers.