What Happened to Threads?

What Happened to Threads?


A month ago, Threads was the internet’s shiny new object. Now Meta’s social sharing app is an endangered species.

According to the market intelligence company Sensor Tower, Meta’s clone of Twitter (now known as X) concluded July with 8 million daily active users. This represents a significant decline of approximately 82 percent from its zenith of 44 million daily active users, which occurred just days after Threads was launched, as reported by Sensor Tower. And recently Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg talked with Meta employees about Threads’ sagging user engagement. Reportedly, he admitted the app lost over half its users since its launch.

This is quite a dramatic turnaround for an app that became the fastest growing app in history after being launched in early July.

So, why are people not using Threads? Reasons include:

  • The app still lacks features that users expect on similar apps such as X. Recently Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said that his team would add what he called “obvious missing features” to the app, such as tools to edit posts and a feed that allows users to see content just from accounts they follow. (Threads is an extension of a user’s Instagram accounts.) Since then, Threads has added a following tab on its feed and other features, Threads programmer Cameron Roth wrote in a Threads post. And reportedly more features are on the way.
  • Social app saturation has taken hold. Threads is one more app that brands and people need to manage on top of X, TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, and more. Joining the app is easy through your Instagram account. But actually taking time to post content is a laborious process without easy desktop functionality and integration with social platforms. On top of that, Threads really does not stand apart as having a distinct experience. If an X user has accumulated a large following there, they have little motivation to post on to Threads the same content they published on X already.

That said, Threads is far from dead. Mark Zuckerberg recently said that Threads will continue to add features that Threads badly needs. For instance, Meta CEO search and web features will be “coming in the next few weeks.” This is crucial. According to what advertisers and creators communicated to CNBC, for Threads to evolve into a vital service, it must include functionalities that simplify the searching process for trending subjects and the retrieval of past posts. The ability to access Threads via the web is especially crucial if Meta intends to genuinely rival X, a platform that has enjoyed longstanding popularity among desktop users, particularly in the workplace.

It’s also only a matter of time before Meta introduces advertising features to Threads. But first, Threads needs to demonstrate that it can build off its initial success by keeping users engaged. For now, we suggest that brands keep an eye out for features that will make Threads easier to use. If you have the bandwidth on your social media team, experiment with Threads once it becomes easier to use. We are still a long way from taking Threads seriously as an advertising platform.

Meanwhile, True Interactive can help you with all your social advertising needs. Contact us to learn more about our social media advertising experience.

Photo by BoliviaInteligente on Unsplash

YouTube Rebounds with Connected TV Ad Spend

YouTube Rebounds with Connected TV Ad Spend


The conversation about connected TV (CTV) advertising often focuses on the major streaming platforms such as Hulu and Netflix. But YouTube belongs in that conversation, too. YouTube has seen a remarkable surge in CTV ad spend for the most recent quarter, surpassing its competitors. As reported in Insider Intelligence, while YouTube experienced a 31 percent increase in CTV spending, streaming services like Max and Netflix only saw a growth of 6 percent.

In addition, the quarter marked the first time since Q4 2021 that platforms such as YouTube, Google Search, Amazon, Instagram, and Facebook all witnessed spending increases.

The CTV sector has seen a boom due to a rise in cord-cutting and increased time spent on these platforms. Consequently, it has become one of the strongest areas for ad spending in 2023. Presently, CTV spending in the United States amounts to $25.09 billion, while traditional TV spending remains higher at $61.31 billion. But by 2027, this gap is expected to close, with CTV spending projected to reach $40.90 billion and TV spending forecasted at $56.83 billion.

The transition to CTV may gain momentum soon, as industry giants like Disney contemplate selling off some TV assets to focus more on digital video. Such moves from major advertisers could attract more investment into the digital video space.

YouTube stands as a frontrunner in the digital pivot, owing to its TV viewership and content model, which gives it an edge over streaming services and other CTV platforms entering the market. The platform has seen a steady increase in viewership on TV screens, with users spending 15 minutes on CTVs, matching the time spent on mobile viewing. YouTube has capitalized on this growth by incorporating user-friendly features and introducing Shorts to TV screens.

In addition, the ongoing Hollywood writers and actors strikes position YouTube to attract more ad revenue. Competitors will have limited new content to entice advertisers, whereas YouTube’s user-generated content model remains unaffected, even weakening arguments against treating such content as “premium.”

According to forecasts, YouTube is expected to secure $2.89 billion in U.S. CTV ad spending this year, second only to Hulu, which Disney is actively seeking full ownership of.

The rise of CTV ad spend is a welcome development for YouTube, owned by Google (which, in turned, is owned by Alphabet). YouTube’s ad business had posted losses for three consecutive quarters (an unprecedented downturn following years of double-digit gains) before experiencing a rebound in the most recent quarter.

In a call with investors, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said, “The Living Room remained our fastest growing screen in 2022 in terms of watchtime. We’re reaching more than 150 million people on Connected TV screens in the US, and seeing growth and momentum internationally. And on subscriptions, there’s good growth. Late last year, we announced over 80 million YouTube Music and Premium subscribers.  Signups for NFL Sunday Ticket kicked off in April, and we look forward to hosting our first football season on YouTube this fall.”

Advertisers should watch closely emerging ad formats that YouTube is rolling out specifically for CTV. For instance, non-skippable ads are coming soon to YouTube Select on connected TV. This means that viewers will see one 30-second ad instead of two consecutive 15-second ads. YouTube is also bringing new Pause experiences to CTV, so that advertisers can drive awareness or action by owning that unique interactive moment when people pause a video. Learn more about these developments on YouTube’s blog.

At True Interactive, we partner with our clients to manage CTV campaigns that deliver ROI. We work with all the major platforms, including YouTube. Learn more about our CTV work on our website and contact us to discuss how we can help you.

Brands Succeeding on Twitch: Unlocking Marketing Potential

Brands Succeeding on Twitch: Unlocking Marketing Potential


Twitch is well known for livestreaming gaming content, but it’s also an incredibly fertile platform for businesses to create stronger connections with their own fans as Starbucks and Lexus demonstrate. Any business can learn some lessons about how these companies engage with their target audiences on Twitch.

Twitch: A Gateway to Young, Engaged Audiences

First off, a reminder of why businesses are interested in Twitch: Twitch’s meteoric rise and predominantly young Millennial and Gen Z user base present a significant opportunity for businesses. Twitch has 140 million active users and is viewed by 2.45 million people. On Twitch, businesses may reach tech-savvy, online participants who are interested in the content they are watching.

Authentic Partnerships and Influencer Marketing

Making genuine alliances with influencers popular with the Twitch audience is essential to success on the platform. To capitalize on Twitch’s potential, Starbucks, renowned for its creative marketing approaches, teamed up with freestyle rapper Harry Mack. Similarly, Lexus collaborated with well-known Twitch streamer and auto enthusiast Fulsie to interact with viewers. Starbucks and Lexus may efficiently reach their target audience by partnering their brands with essential people in pertinent niches. By doing this, they might benefit from these influencers’ authenticity and reputation.

Creative and Immersive Experiences

Due to Twitch’s interactive features, brands may provide individualized and captivating experiences for users. Starbucks benefited from this by incorporating its logo into Mack’s live stream, where he created freestyle rap verses based on chat interactions and user personality attributes. This tailored approach highlighted Starbucks’s products and gave viewers an enjoyable experience. Meanwhile, Lexus included interactive features in its Twitch promotion, enabling viewers to test-drive their newest vehicles virtually. Both these examples demonstrate how to make a lasting impression either by hitching your wagon to someone else’s star or creating your own content.

Understanding and Leveraging Twitch’s Niche Content

Despite being predominantly linked with gaming, Twitch has seen the rise of several content genres that marketers may use. For instance, Lexus capitalized on Twitch’s “Just Chatting” channel, where streamers converse with their viewers. By recognizing the value of non-gaming content, Lexus increased its audience and engaged with viewers interested in talking about automobiles. Brands should conduct careful research to find appropriate Twitch content categories consistent with their brand message.

How Twitch Can Help You!

For digital marketers, Twitch offers a unique chance to capitalize on the power of immersive and engaging interactions. Twitch provides an excellent platform for businesses to develop campaigns that engage viewers and increase brand engagement because of Twitch’s interactive audience. Brands can provide customers with specialized experiences by using Twitch’s interactive capabilities, such as chat conversations and real-time feedback. They can use Twitch’s wide range of content categories, working with influencers and streamers to target audiences and enhance brand messaging. Brands can assess the impact and efficacy of their marketing through strategic collaborations, imaginative storytelling, and the use of Twitch’s analytics, refining their marketing strategies for the best outcomes.

Contact True Interactive

True Interactive can help you create engaging advertising content on platforms such as Twitch. Learn more about our services here, and contact us to learn more.

Why Barbie Is a Connected TV Star

Why Barbie Is a Connected TV Star

Connected TV

I’ve written a few times about Roku’s marketing innovations in 2023, and for good reason: with more than 70 million active accounts, Roku is the leading streaming platform in the United States, and it is a bellwether for the rise of connected TV (CTV). Roku’s ability to create branded content illustrates the marketing possibilities of CTV, an area where True Interactive has deep experience.

The latest sign of Roku’s leadership: the company has successfully acquired the rights to the highly anticipated Barbie movie. The deal, which has generated considerable industry buzz, underscores Roku’s commitment to expanding its original content offerings and capitalizing on the growing popularity of streaming services.

The Barbie movie, a joint production between Mattel Films and Warner Bros., is expected to be a major draw for viewers of all ages. As part of the agreement, Roku has secured exclusive streaming rights for the film, which will be available only to Roku’s extensive user base. This maneuver is set to not only attract new subscribers but also solidify the loyalty of existing Roku users.

The Barbie movie is taking over Roku devices, including a Barbie Dreamhouse in Roku City; a takeover of the Roku home screen (where users access the apps to watch their shows and movies); and the ability to watch a trailer for the movie or buy a movie ticket directly on their TV sets.

Barbie, which stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, is present on the Roku home screen. When users pause what they’re watching up through July 23, the Barbie Dreamhouse and Barbieland take over the Roku City screensaver, as do Barbie-themed billboards and movie theaters. When users click through, they are brought to a landing page to watch a trailer for the movie, and with a QR code that will let them instantly buy tickets.

Roku’s move towards producing original content represents a shift in its business strategy. Traditionally known for providing a wide array of streaming options from various content providers, the company is now positioning itself as a creator of exclusive, premium content, setting it apart from its competitors, which include Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and others.

Industry analysts speculate that this acquisition is just the beginning of Roku’s plans for expansion. With the rise of streaming services and cord-cutting becoming the norm, Roku is keen on establishing a strong position in the market by producing engaging original content.

As streaming wars continue to intensify, Roku’s focus on content creation may set the standard for the entire CTV industry. By leveraging its massive user base and constantly growing digital ecosystem, the company is poised to make a significant impact in the entertainment industry.

At True Interactive, we believe it’s important that businesses understand the growth of advertising on streaming platforms in context of the rise of connected TV. If you’ve not done so already, take a closer look at why connected TV is growing and how it could expand your audience. (True Interactive can help you with that.) Connected TV is enjoying 60-percent growth, driven by a public’s appetite for streaming that continues unabated.

Contact True Interactive

True Interactive can help you navigate the connected TV landscape. Our services range from media strategy and planning to automated performance reporting. Learn more about our services here, and contact us to learn more.

Why Amazon Prime Day 2023 Succeeded

Why Amazon Prime Day 2023 Succeeded


Are you ready for the next Amazon Prime Day, which will probably happen this fall? Based on the results of the July 11-12 Prime Day, you should be. Amazon reminded everyone that the company is the top dog in e-commerce despite challenges from the likes of TikTok and Walmart. Businesses that prepare for Prime Day properly will benefit.

Amazon Prime Day Results

According to data from Adobe Analytics, the recent two-day event that occurred on July 11 and 12 witnessed a remarkable increase in year-on-year spending, reaching $12.7 billion in the United States, with a surge of 6.1 percent.

During this event, Prime members globally indulged themselves in purchasing over 375 million products, taking advantage of Amazon’s discounted deals and saving an impressive amount of over $2.5 billion.

The average Prime Day spend per order is $56.64, up from $53.14 in the same reporting period on Prime Day 2022, according to data firm Numerator.

What People Bought

Throughout the span of the two-day event, various categories played a significant role in propelling online sales. Notably, appliances accounted for 45 percent of the sales, followed by housekeeping supplies at 28 percent, and electronics at 18 percent. Additionally, there was a noticeable increase in the popularity of apparel, experiencing a growth of 17 percent, and stationery/office supplies, skyrocketing by an impressive 76 percent. These surges were partially fueled by the influx of back-to-school shoppers.

How People Shopped

Consumers exhibited a growing inclination towards adopting flexible approaches in managing their expenditures. Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) orders experienced a significant surge on both days of the event. On July 11, BNPL constituted 6.4 percent of online orders, resulting in a remarkable revenue of $461 million. This marked an astounding 19.5 percent increase compared to the corresponding day of last year’s Prime Day event. Similarly, on July 12, BNPL accounted for 6.6 percent of online orders, generating $466 million in revenue and demonstrating a notable growth of 21 percent compared to the second day of last year’s event.

Online sales were predominantly influenced by smartphones, accounting for nearly half of the total sales at 46.5 percent. This figure has seen a growth from the previous year’s 43.7 percent, indicating an upward trend in consumer confidence when it comes to shopping on smaller screens. The increase in smartphone-driven sales can be attributed to both the growing comfort of consumers with mobile shopping experiences and the prevalence of last-minute impulse purchases.

“Prime Day has become of one the biggest e-commerce moments of the year, as consumers latch onto major discounts from a number of different retailers,” said Vivek Pandya, a lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, in a statement. “The record spending so far shows us that consumers are tapping into their inner bargain hunters, stocking up on specific categories such as electronics and apparel while the discounts remain steep.”

Across major marketing channels, affiliates/partners saw the biggest lift when it came to revenue contribution (up 11 percent). Other major contributors were email (up 10 percent), display (up 5 percent) and social (up 4 percent).

How to Prepare

Here are some tactics advertisers should take to prepare themselves for Amazon Prime Day – and start preparing now:

  • Offer exclusive discounts and bundles. Prime Day is all about deals. So make sure you’re offering discounts that will make your products stand out from the competition. You could also offer bundles of products to give customers more value for their money. Participate in Amazon’s Lightning Deals and coupon promotions to drive increased sales and conversions. These limited-time offers can create a sense of urgency and encourage impulse purchases.
  • Re-examine your search campaigns on Amazon. Given how much Prime Day shoppers seek out deals, are your keywords aligned with what value-based shoppers are looking for?
  • Optimize your product listings. Make sure your product listings are optimized for search so that people can easily find your products. This includes using relevant keywords, clear and concise product descriptions, and high-quality images. Consider using Enhanced Brand Content or A+ Content to provide enhanced visuals and detailed product information.
  • Stock up on inventory. Make sure you have enough inventory to meet demand. You don’t want to lose out on sales (and annoy Amazon) because you’re out of stock.
  • Promote your deals on social media and email. Let your existing customers know about your Prime Day deals by promoting them on social media and email. You could also create a dedicated landing page for your Prime Day deals.
  • Track your results. It’s important to track your results so that you can see what’s working and what’s not. This will help you improve your strategy for future Prime Day events.
  • Do post-Prime Day follow-up. After Prime Day ends, leverage post-event insights and customer data to retarget potential customers and nurture ongoing relationships. Develop post-Prime Day campaigns, including remarketing efforts and personalized offers, to maintain momentum and drive additional sales.

Contact True Interactive

To succeed in Amazon’s world, contact True Interactive. Our experience with Amazon Ads makes us well suited to help your brand succeed all year-round.

Why Roku’s Relationship with Shopify Matters to Advertisers

Why Roku’s Relationship with Shopify Matters to Advertisers

Connected TV

Roku has announced a partnership with Shopify that provides viewers the ability to purchase products from Shopify merchants directly from their TV through Roku Action Ads. This announcement is significant because it demonstrates the potential convergence of connected TV (CTV) with e-commerce.

When viewers see an ad for a Shopify merchant, they can simply press OK on their Roku remote to learn more about the product and purchase it. Viewers can use Roku Pay to complete their purchase. Once the transaction is processed, purchasers will receive an email confirmation from the merchant.

This integration is the first commerce integration for independent Shopify merchants on TV streaming. It creates a new advertising channel for Shopify merchants to reach a wider audience. Men’s apparel brand True Classic, the game-based connected rower Ergatta, and wellness brand Olly have signed on as initial partners.

With this new integration, viewers can now purchase products directly from their TVs after seeing an ad for a Shopify merchant. Here is how the experience looks, courtesy of Roku:

Although the partnership is just coming out of the gate, it offers some potential benefits, including:

  • Shortened advertising funnel: viewers can now purchase products directly from their TVs after seeing an ad, which shortens the advertising funnel and gives Shopify advertisers more data about their customers.
  • More customer data: Shopify advertisers can now collect more customer data, such as purchase history and shipping information, which can help them better understand their customers and target their advertising more effectively.
  • Point-of-sale access: Shopify merchants can now reach a wider audience by advertising their products on Roku devices. This gives them point-of-sale access to Roku’s audience, which can help them increase sales.

This new partnership is a win-win for both Roku and Shopify, and it’s a sign of the growing importance of commerce on TV streaming devices.

Roku and Shopify have been partners in commerce for years. In 2021, Roku launched a marketing app for Shopify merchants, allowing them to build, purchase, and measure TV streaming ad campaigns. This was the first TV streaming app available in the Shopify App Store.

Also worth noting: two months ago, Roku revealed new ad products at the 2023 IAB NewFronts presentation. These products include AI capability searches that match a brand’s message and place their ads in real time, as well as an interactive Roku screensaver where businesses can advertise.

Roku is a major player in the fast-growing connected TV industry. For the first time, streaming viewership topped cable in 2022, and this trend is not going to reverse course as cord cutting continues. As reported in Axios recently, traditional television companies and major media firms are bracing for further declines in the ad market and yet another increase in cord-cutting this year. At True Interactive, we believe it’s important that businesses understand the growth of advertising on streaming platforms in context of the rise of connected TV. If you’ve not done so already, take a closer look at why connected TV is growing and how it could expand your audience. (True Interactive can help you with that.) Connected TV is enjoying 60-percent growth, driven by a public’s appetite for streaming that continues unabated.

Contact True Interactive

True Interactive can help you navigate the connected TV landscape. Our services range from media strategy and planning to automated performance reporting. Learn more about our services here, and contact us to learn more.

Meta Launches Threads: Advertiser Q&A

Meta Launches Threads: Advertiser Q&A

Instagram Meta Threads Twitter

In just five days, Meta’s Threads app has become the fastest-growing app in history, with 100 million users, and counting. Threads is basically a Twitter clone, and because it’s connected to a user’s Instagram account, so far both brands and people alike have been posting content that pretty much resembles what they’d post on Twitter and Insta. Let’s take a closer look at Threads by answering some commonly asked questions brands might have about it.

What exactly is Threads, and why does it exist?

As noted, Threads gives its user base a place to post the same kind of rapid-fire posts that they share on Twitter and Instagram. There is a 500-character limit for posting. Users can respond to each other’s posts, and they can link to photos, video, and external URLs as with Twitter. It’s one of a handful of Twitter rivals, including Bluesky and Mastadon, that have emerged to challenge Twitter’s long-established lead as a micro-blogging platform.

Interest in Threads has intensified in light of Twitter’s ongoing service problems and a reported rise in hate speech on Twitter, which has made the app less appealing for both brands and everyday users. Twitter has 354 million users – which is a sizable audience, making it tempting for a rival to create its own similar platform. But Twitter is a firmly ensconced platform. It would take someone with a lot of clout to rival the company. Meta has that kind of clout.

How do you sign up for Threads?

You need to have an Instagram account to sign up. From there, you download the app from your iOS or Android device.

Wait – I have to have an Instgram account to sign up for Threads? What are the implications of Threads being connected to Instagram?

Yes, you need to be on Instagram to be on Threads. Technically, Threads is in fact a stand-alone social network with its own app, but you need Instagram to sign up for it.

When you sign up for Threads, you can choose to auto-follow all of the accounts you follow on Instagram. This means that if your Instagram followers also sign up for Threads, they will automatically start following you back.

This is a great way to grow your Threads following quickly. However, it’s important to note that not everyone who auto-follows you will be interested in your content. So, it’s still important to post high-quality content and engage with your followers.

But what if you don’t want to be on Threads anymore? Well, if you decide you don’t like Threads, you cannot delete your Threads account unless you also delete your Instagram account.

If you violate Threads’s community guidelines and get your Threads account banned, your Instagram account will also be banned. To change your Threads username, you must also change your Instagram username.

How did Threads get so big so fast?

It’s all about the Instagram integration. Threads has instant access to Instagram’s 2.35 billion monthly active users. Meta made it easy for anyone to sign up through Instagram – and that’s not all. Meta also made it easy to import your Instagram profile. The auto-follow button, which allows your new Threads account to follow every account you follow on Instagram, created an instant Threads following for anyone on Instagram.

What kind of content should I post on Threads?

For now, businesses and people are posting the same kind of content that they post on Twitter and Instagram. So, what’s good for those platforms will be just right for Threads. Remember, your initial following comes from your Instagram audience – so it makes sense to be as visual as you can.

Social Media Manager Bri Reynolds suggests that you go grab your top-performing evergreen tweets, post one or a few as your initial Thread content. You’ve already proven they’re successful elsewhere.

Down the road, as Threads evolves, brands might develop a separate content strategy for Threads. But for now, Threads has quickly become a platform for cross-posting.

What caveats should I be aware of?

As noted above, if you want to delete your Threads, you need to delete your Insta.

Threads lacks a lot of functionality that users have become accustomed to on other platforms, including a lack of hash tagging and direct messaging capacity. There is no desktop version, and there is no chronological feed (although Instagram says a chronological feed will be coming soon).

Threads collects the same data as its parent company. This includes users’ physical addresses, health and fitness data, and sensitive information such as biometric and ethnic data. Twitter, on the other hand, does not collect these types of data.

Being present on Threads could become burdensome to your social media team. There is a tremendous amount of pressure for brands to experiment there. Make sure you have the bandwidth.

Is advertising coming to Threads?

Not yet. But as reported in Advertising Age, Meta is talking with ad agencies and brands about how the platform will work and has shared a presentation with several agencies outlining how Threads could potentially become the new Twitter. Meta has told advertisers that it will ensure brand safety by applying Instagram’s own community guidelines. If you want to get an early take on how Threads advertising will work, Instagram’s own ad units are a good place to start given the integration of the two apps.

Here are some specific examples of how Threads advertising may work (based on the Instagram experience):

  • Advertisers may be able to target their ads to users based on their interests, location, or demographics.
  • Ads may be displayed in the form of sponsored posts, promoted stories, or promoted video.
  • Ads may be placed alongside organic content in the Threads feed.

It is still too early to say exactly how Threads advertising will work, but one thing is certain: ads will come to Threads.

Contact True Interactive

At True Interactive, we’re following the rise of Threads closely. To succeed in the ever-changing world of online advertising, contact True Interactive. Read about some of our client work here, and learn about our social media services here.

Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/a-close-up-of-a-cell-phone-with-a-keyboard-in-the-background-vk8iRvRjoAg