Two Months Out: How is Threads Doing?

You know what they say: the flame that burns twice as bright only burns half as long. And boy, did Threads burn bright...for a short time. 

What happened to Threads? 

Threads made a big splash with more than 100 million users signing up in the first five days, but since then, the app has seen an almost 80% drop in its daily users. 

How did this new app draw in so many users in record time? For one, Threads made it painless to set up your account, allowing you to transfer your Instagram username, profile pic, bio, follower list, and following list to Threads with a single click. The sheer excitement of a new platform also surely drew in users that were eager to be early adopters. 

But, as noted, the app has seen a steep decline in daily users since its launch. According to AdWeek, the amount of time spent on the app also dropped from 21 minutes in July to just three minutes per day as of August 7. 

Why did the Threads hype die so quickly? 

Threads launched with an apparent objective to battle against Twitter amid the Twitter chaos. 

In October 2022, Elon Musk officially bought Twitter. In the months that followed, Musk made sweeping changes to the platform, laid off hordes of employees, and eventually scrapped the Twitter logo and name for X. 

Threads offered an alternative text-posting platform that focused more on light-hearted conversation and meme-ing as a refuge from the hostile atmosphere that Twitter had become. 

It worked for a few weeks; users bought into the hype, excited for a brand new app from Meta to try out. But without the more sophisticated features that Twitter boasts, the functionality of Threads fell short. 

You can post, make threads, repost, quote-post, reply, and like, but the search function is still rudimentary.

You can search for other users, but there's no section for trending moments and breaking news“one of Twitter's most appealing features, in our opinion. 

The capability for mentions was recently added, but hashtags still aren't implemented on the platform. This reduces the amount of organic discovery users can do on the app, and the amount of reach brands can get on their posts. 

A few updates have been made to the platform since launch, including adding a desktop version, allowing posts to be sent in Instagram direct messages, and the ability to add alt text to images. 

Another noteworthy event is the unexpected re-branding of Twitter to X soon after Threads launched. It's very possible that the shock of the Twitter bird logo being erased forever contributed to the decrease in Threads' popularity. 

Was this abrupt change to X a deliberate move on Elon Musk's part to undermine the launch of Threads? We wouldn't totally put it past him. 

How is this affecting brands and marketers? 

From the Random team's perspective, brands were eager to be early adopters and add Threads to their social media strategy. However, the hype quickly wore off, and clients were less interested in putting time into the app if they didn't initially see value or high engagements. 

Quite a few brands are still finding value in Threads, however. They mainly use the app to express brand personality and ignite conversations rather than push followers to take action or convert. 


For example, Ulta Beauty has been posting at least weekly on Threads since it first launched, with almost 350,000 followers and averaging hundreds of likes on each post. They've got a lot of fun content, asking questions to their followers, quote posting other well-known brands, and jumping in on memes and pop culture trends.

Posts promoting or even mentioning their own products are rarely seen. Instead, they work to add personality to their brand image and invite conversation in the replies. 

This could be a valuable strategy for brands looking to boost their brand awareness and reach younger audiences. But if you're a brand prioritizing conversions, Threads no longer seems like the platform to try it (if it ever was in the first place). 

What's coming next?

Brands and individual users are both experiencing burnout with so many new apps to keep track of. It's human nature to be drawn to the latest, shiniest thing on the market. But the fascination can wear off quickly if our attention isn't held. 

The launch and nosedive of Threads is an excellent example of what happens when a company banks on the initial hype but doesn't invest enough forethought and resources into keeping the momentum going. 

And along with the abrupt re-branding of Twitter to X, the Threads app didn't stand a chance in retrospect. 

Will Threads keep evolving to try to reel users back in? Or has its peak already passed? Only time will tell. 

Here at Random, we're experts on strategizing and creating the most effective social media campaigns for your brand. We can't wait to work together! Reach out to us below.

A Random Twitter Update - Recent Changes to the Platform

Twitter right now is kind of like that one freeway you drive on that's always under construction. No matter how much work is being done, it's hard to see an end in sight. And a lot has happened on Twitter since our last update.

Some of these updates might actually seem like good features, while others seem like an attempt to stay relevant (or make money). One thing is for sure: changes to Twitter will not be stopping anytime soon. Early last month, Elon Musk, current CEO of Twitter, announced that Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal's former advertising chief, would be Twitter's new CEO, while he would focus on product development. This gives Musk plenty of extra time to concoct new additions to the app.

But for the meantime, there's plenty of change to talk about. Read on for all the latest features and news surrounding the ever-evolving platform:

Video Updates

Musk has been talking about bolstering Twitter's video content for quite some time now, and the first few updates to support this goal have already been implemented.

One of the more significant updates was giving Twitter Blue subscribers the ability to upload videos up to two hours long on the app. For reference, free users can only upload videos up to 140 seconds long. This seems like an amazing feature, but time will tell if it's incentivizing enough for users to subscribe to Twitter Blue, which is an $8 per month subscription. Back in December, Twitter added hour-long uploads for Twitter Blue, and since then, only about 0.3% of Twitter users have subscribed to the exclusive service.

Other features that Twitter has implemented in an attempt to match other video-sharing platforms are video playback speed and picture-in-picture video playback (meaning you can keep watching a video while scrolling through the app). This means that you can watch clumsy cat videos and read up on celebrity feuds at the same time!

API Access

It seems as if Musk can't decide what he wants to do with the Twitter application programming interface (API). At first, Twitter announced that they would be cutting off all access to the API (which used to be completely free). This caused an uproar, so Musk changed his mind and instead offered tiered access to the API, where each tier gives different capabilities.

Naturally, this also caused an uproar (taking away something that once was free will do that) because this meant that third-party platforms like Sprout Social and Agorapulse would be paying a large fee to maintain their Twitter connection. A few apps have already fallen at the hand of the API restriction, including Twitteriffic and Tweetbot.

As of right now, these are the current access tiers that Twitter has in place:

DM Updates

One of Musk's major initiatives with Twitter has involved improving security for its users. Seems like a worthy mission for a platform that has been exploited in the past. This goal has resulted in Twitter launching encrypted direct messages. Or at least, trying to launch direct messages. 

Here's what Musk tweeted when encrypted messages were released:

Seems like something you wouldn't want to hear when launching a security measure! Encrypted direct messages would ensure that users have full privacy control over their DMs and won't have to worry about info being shared with Twitter. Here's the predictable catch: only verified users can encrypt their DMs. Shoulda seen it coming.

Advertising Updates

Incentive to subscribe to Twitter Blue seems to be a theme for a lot of these updates. As of April 21, running ads on Twitter is now a feature only available to paying users, or those who are verified by other means. 

Here's the official notice that pop-ups on the Twitter ads dashboard:

This update might mean nothing for those already exceeding $1,000 in ad spend, but it means extra costs for those who rely on Twitter for advertising.

Other Notable Updates:

While these new changes might be exciting to some, a new study shows that 25% of users don't see themselves using Twitter 12 months from now. Will any of these new updates entice users to stay with the iconic app, or will more tweeters start to jump ship? 

Wanting your brand to stay on top of social media trends? Shoot us a message to see how we can help!

Get Influenced: Analyzing The Top Social Media Platforms For Each Generation

Casey Wright

April 2023

Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. It has changed the way we communicate, share information, and interact with each other. There are various social media platforms available today, and each platform has its own unique features and target audience. In this blog, we will explore which social media platforms are used most by each generation and the reasons behind their influence.

Generation Z (born between 1997-2012)

Generation Z is the youngest generation and the most tech-savvy. They have grown up with technology and have a strong presence on social media. According to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, the top social media platforms used by Generation Z are:

  1. TikTok - TikTok is a short-form video sharing app that allows users to create and share 15-second videos that are often accompanied by music. This format is particularly appealing to Generation Z, who have grown up with short attention spans and a preference for quick and easily digestible content. TikTok's algorithm is designed to show users content that is relevant to their interests. This means that users are constantly exposed to new and interesting content, which keeps them engaged and coming back for more. TikTok has a strong sense of community. Users can interact with each other through likes, comments, and shares, and there are many popular challenges and trends that users can participate in. 

This sense of community and belonging is particularly important to Generation Z, who are known for their social consciousness and desire to connect with others. Overall, TikTok's unique format, personalized content, sense of community, and emphasis on creativity and self-expression makes it the most influential platform for this young and vocal generation.

  1. Instagram - Instagram is a photo and video sharing app that allows users to share pictures and videos of their daily lives. This format is particularly appealing to Generation Z, who are known for their love of visual content and their desire to share their experiences with others. Instagram has a strong emphasis on aesthetics and creativity. Users can use a range of filters, editing tools, and hashtags to create unique and visually appealing content. This allows Generation Z to express themselves in new and exciting ways and to showcase their talents and creativity to a wider audience. 

The platform is constantly evolving and introducing new features and trends that allow Generation Z to stay up-to-date with social culture and to express themselves in new and exciting ways. Overall, Instagram's focus on visual content, creativity, community, dynamic features, and constant innovation has kept Gen Z engaged for over a decade.

Generation Y (born between 1981-1996)

Generation Y, also known as millennials, grew up during the rise of the internet and social media. They are comfortable with technology and are heavy users of social media. According to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, the top social media platforms used by Generation Y are:

  1. Facebook - Facebook was the first major social media platform that many millennials used and it has become a part of their daily lives. Many millennials have been using Facebook for over a decade, and it has become a way to stay in touch with friends and family members who are spread out across the country or the world. 

The platform's wide range of features, including messaging, groups, events, and pages allows millennials to connect with others who share their interests and to stay up-to-date with the latest news and events in their communities. Overall, Facebook's longevity, wide range of features, strong sense of community, emphasis on privacy and security, and diverse content has made it a hugely popular platform among millennials.

  1. Twitter - Twitter is a platform that allows users to express their thoughts and ideas in short, concise messages called tweets. This format is particularly appealing to millennials, who are known for their ability to communicate quickly and efficiently. Users can interact with each other through retweets, likes, and replies, and there are many popular hashtags and trends that users can participate in. 

The platform is widely used by journalists, politicians, and celebrities which has given the generation a way to digest local and world news beyond the traditional morning newspaper. Overall, Twitter's focus on concise messaging, community, real-time news and events, and diverse content makes it the perfect platform for Millennials.

Generation X (born between 1965-1980)

Generation X grew up during a time of rapid technological change. They are comfortable with technology but are not as heavily reliant on social media as younger generations. According to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, the top social media platforms used by Generation X are:

  1. Facebook - Many Gen Xers use Facebook to connect with old friends and classmates, as well as to participate in discussions and debates about topics that are important to them. This sense of community and belonging is particularly important to Gen Xers, who are often seeking to establish and maintain relationships.
  1. LinkedIn - LinkedIn is a platform that is specifically designed for professional networking. This is particularly important to Gen Xers, who are often in their peak career-building years and may be seeking new job opportunities, networking contacts, or industry insights. The platform has a strong emphasis on professionalism. 

Users are encouraged to create detailed profiles that highlight their education, work experience, and professional achievements. This allows Gen Xers to showcase their skills and expertise to potential employers or business partners. Overall, LinkedIn's focus on professional networking, emphasis on professionalism, wide range of features, strong sense of community, and educational content has made it a hit with Generation X.

  1. Pinterest - Pinterest is a platform that allows users to discover and save inspiration and ideas for a wide range of topics, including recipes, home decor, fashion, and travel. This is particularly appealing to Gen Xers, who are often seeking inspiration and new ideas for their personal lives and interests. 

The platform's highly visual and user-friendly interface allows users to easily create boards and save or organize pins in a way that is easy to navigate and share with others. Many Gen Xers use Pinterest to connect with others who share their interests and to discover new content through social sharing and collaboration. Overall, Pinterest's focus on inspiration and ideas, user-friendly interface, sense of community, diverse content, and emphasis on personalization has found its place in this generation of users.

Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964)

Baby Boomers grew up during a time when technology was not as prevalent as it is today. They are not as comfortable with technology as younger generations, but they are increasingly using social media to stay in touch with family and friends. According to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, the top social media platforms used by Baby Boomers are:

  1. Facebook - Facebook is one of the longest standing social media platforms, which has allowed time for older generations such as Boomers to learn and adapt with the platform more than others.  Boomers are often in a phase of life where their children have moved away from home or have friends or family members who live in different parts of the country of the world so being able to post life updates and stay connected has proven to be extremely beneficial to this generation of users. This sense of community and belonging is particularly important to Boomers, who may be seeking to establish new social connections as they enter retirement.
  1. YouTube - YouTube is a platform that offers a wide range of content, including music, news, educational videos, and entertainment. Boomers appreciate the diversity of content and the ability to explore new topics and interests. 

With the platform's user-friendly interface and the ability to easily search for educational content, Boomers enjoy taking advantage of lifelong learning content such as wealth resources, tutorials, and topic based podcasts. Overall, YouTube's diverse range of content, user-friendly interface, educational resources, sense of community, and personalization features have made it a hugely popular platform amongst Boomers.

Understanding the platforms your target audience uses is crucial for the success of your marketing campaigns. By knowing where your audience spends their time online, you can tailor your messaging, content, and advertising efforts to resonate with them. Each platform has its unique features, audience demographics, and communication styles. Therefore, adapting your strategy to match each platform's characteristics will help you engage your target audience and build a strong online presence. 

Additionally, understanding the platforms your audience uses will allow you to optimize your advertising budget and reach the right people at the right time. Overall, knowing your target audience's preferred platforms will help you create more relevant and effective campaigns that drive engagement, conversions, and brand loyalty.

Want us to help you or your business thrive on social media?

The New Era of Twitter - An Update

It's been five months since Twitter fell into the hands of Elon Musk, and it's been an exciting ride. We're here to dive into what's happened in the past months and where the platform could be heading for the rest of this year. 

What's Up with Twitter Blue?

All hell broke loose when the $8/month paid subscription was first introduced on Twitter. Impersonators took advantage of the blue checkmark to publish tweets to look like they were from the actual company, inevitably causing chaos. Just days after Twitter Blue was introduced, the platform killed it again. 

But not for long. Twitter Blue was resurrected from the dead and is still in place today. For $8/month, subscribers can edit their tweets, write tweets up to 4,000 characters, have their replies appear above others in threads, and access even more features.

One difference from the first rollout of Twitter Blue is that the blue checkmark will not appear right after subscribing. Accounts will still be reviewed to ensure subscribed accounts meet all eligibility criteria'' before the checkmark appears. 

Lastly, account security is no longer free under Musk's reign. To use two-factor authentication (like getting a code texted to you when you sign in), users must subscribe to Twitter Blue. There are other ways to authenticate your account if you don't pay, but they aren't convenient by any means. 

Losing the Big Bucks

With all the changes happening on the platform and the rise in hate speech (we'll talk about that in a sec), advertisers are taking their money and running. 

According to Reuters, more than 500 big-name advertisers have paused spending money on advertising on Twitter. On January 17 of this year, the company's revenue was reportedly 40% lower than the same day the year before. Yikes. 

Twitter also reversed its ban on political ads, which could be why many advertisers are leaving. Especially with a big presidential election coming up next year, companies might be hesitant to exist on a platform with the potential for intense controversy and hostile rhetoric. 

The Rise of the Gold Checkmark

Twitter Blue for Businesses now exists for companies that are sticking it out and keeping Twitter in their social media strategy. They still have to pay the monthly subscription but receive a gold checkmark and a square profile picture rather than a round one.

This acts as a safety measure to ensure real companies can be told apart from any impersonators. Definitely a good move on Twitter's part to keep any incidents like the one with Eli Lilly from happening again. 

Increase in Hate Speech

In Elon Musk's mission to protect free speech, he has restored over 60,000 accounts with more than 10,000 followers each. These accounts had previously been banned for hate speech. Many of these accounts reportedly belong to neo-Nazi and QAnon individuals. 

From the time Musk took over until December 2022, there was a 200% increase in anti-Black slurs, researchers told the New York Times

The Road Ahead

So far, no other platform has stepped up to the plate to take the place of Twitter. It remains the top platform for news and current events, and many businesses still utilize it in their social media strategies. Now only time will tell if Twitter survives.

Need a boost in your social media presence? Our team at Random is ready to help! Send us a message below to get started with us.

Gift Guide for Social Media Lovers

Let me guess. You have a friend that is OBSESSED with social media. They ALWAYS have to be on their phone and constantly take pictures wherever you go because if it's not on instagram, it didn't happen. Or maybe they are persistently on the lookout for the best lighting (SPOILER ALERT: It's golden hour!)

While it may seem difficult to find the perfect gift for your aspiring influencer, never fear, because we have your shopping list ready to go!

Here are some of the perfect gifts for the social media #obsessed person in your life!

Pocket-Sized Smartphone Printer 

Price: $79.00

Connect the Smartphone Printer to your phone via Bluetooth and you can print your latest ˜grammable moments within seconds after you've taken the photo. The App allows you to print and share photos with family & friends and allows you to add fun frames & filters to your photos.

Buy it here.

PopSockets 

Price: $9.99

PopSockets are some of the best and most popular phone grips out there. It keeps your phone stable and steady, so you can take all the photos and videos you need without it slipping out of my hands. Not to mention the hundreds of designs to choose from. This gift is both useful and adds personality to your digital device.

Buy it here.

DJI Phone Stabilizer

Price: $129.00

Say goodbye to shaky footage and blurry photos with this stabilizing gimbal! While the price tag might be a little high, this intelligent gimbal is lightweight, compact and worth every penny. Simply unfold to start filming smooth dynamic footage. This device has dozens of intelligent features at your fingertips, including ShotGuides to help capture the scenario you're in or creative features like Timelapse. Whether you're a vlogger or a mom watching her kids soccer game, this gift is a game changer!

Buy it here.

Social Media Cookie Cutter Set 

$7.20

Turn your desserts into the next social media sensation! These adorable cookie cutters are the perfect gift for lovers of baking and social media. 

Buy it here.

Fujifilm instax mini

$145.95

Looking for a nostalgic way to capture memories? This adorable Polaroid-like camera takes pictures of you and your friends and immediately prints them out. Within 5 minutes you'll have a stack of memories just waiting to be added to your scrapbook or bedroom wall.

Buy it here.

#HASHTAGIT Party Game 

$29.99

This game is guaranteed to be a hit for any social media OBSESSED person in your life. #HashtagIt is the hilarious party game of tagging photos with outrageous, quirky (and sometimes inappropriate!) hashtags! Each round begins with a completely ridiculous photo. Play the best #HashtagIt caption from the cards in your hand. Be voted the best Hashtag and win the Photo. We recommend gifting this one to the 18+ people in your life!

Buy it here.

Portable Charger 

$28.79 

How many times have you been out in the world and could not find a place to charge your phone? How many times has your battery died because of it? This battery pack is the perfect gift for anyone and an absolute necessity for those who are constantly on their phone.

Buy it here.

Ring Light

$59.99

Every social media star knows that the most important thing in the world for a perfect TikTok or selfie is great lighting, but depending on where you live or what time of day you're filming, finding the ideal lighting can be really difficult. Having a ring light with multiple types of lighting is the perfect man-made solution for fighting mother nature.

Buy it here.

Interested in growing your business through influencer marketing? Connect with us by sending a message below! 

Is Mastodon the New Twitter?

With Elon Musk as the new sole owner of Twitter, some users are jumping ship and taking refuge on a new platform: Mastodon. Well, it's been around since 2016, but it's seeing a wave of incoming users in light of the uncertainty of Twitter's future. Before Musk's deal closed, Mastodon had fewer than 400,000 users, but early in the week of November 7, the platform surpassed a million users. Such a big jump begs the questions: what's so great about Mastodon, and is it becoming the new Twitter?

What is Mastodon?

Mastodon was created back in 2016 by German software developer Eugen Rochko. The platform brands itself as free, open-source decentralized social media. This means it's not just a single website, but a decentralized network of thousands of servers that reach across the world. It's also open-source software, so anyone can create their own server to host users. This unique feature means that no one person controls the whole network. 

When you first create an account, you choose a server to join. This creates your profile address, but it doesn't stop you from also communicating with users on other servers. 

The thousands of servers to choose from include groups for music lovers, technology students, animators, climate justice activists, and so much more. If you're interested in it, there's probably a server for it. The servers can be run by individuals, groups or organizations, and each one creates its own set of rules for joining and moderation policies.

Create an account and check out the servers for yourself here.

How does it compare to Twitter?

Disillusioned Twitter users are flocking to Mastodon, but how does it really hold up against Twitter? Let's look at some of the similarities and differences between the two platforms.

Similarities to Twitter

Like Twitter, Mastodon is a platform where you can share your thoughts with your followers, primarily in the form of short text posts. Mastodon's equivalent of tweets were originally referred to as toots, but many users are now just calling them posts. 

Also like Twitter, you can reply, like, bookmark, and use hashtags. The equivalent of a retweet is called a boost. 

Differences 

Mastodon doesn't support the concept of quote tweeting, because the creator says it encourages users to talk at their audience, rather than with the original poster. 

In addition, you can't directly message someone in a private inbox. 

There are no verified check marks on Mastodon, although some servers have their own methods for proving legitimacy. A server for scientists, for example, may restrict its users to those who can prove they have published their own research.

Comparing Demographics

When it comes to age and gender, the distribution is uncannily symmetrical between Twitter and Mastodon. The 25-34 age range is the most prominent on both platforms, and both platforms skew male. Check out the charts below, courtesy of our awesome analyst. (Thanks, Brandon!)

As far as browsing habits go, News & Media holds the top spot on Mastodon, just above Computer Electronics and Video Games. The top industry on Twitter is Adult, followed again by Video Games and Computer Electronics.

Is Mastodon a viable replacement for Twitter? 

An important note is that it isn't built nearly as well as Twitter. With such a decentralized network, it's hard to ensure that quality is consistent across servers and locations. 

On the other hand, Mastodon is much more customizable by nature, and you can join communities based on your interests and personal preferences on moderation policies. 

Lastly, even after hitting one million users, Mastodon's audience is still a tiny fraction of that on Twitter. This could be great for you, though, if you're looking for a social platform that allows for more constructive conversations and personal connection.

Is Mastodon good for brands?

So what now? With the uncertainty of what lies in Twitter's future under its new ownership, should brands start following users to Mastodon? 

Firstly, Mastodon doesn't allow for paid advertising. With only a million users spread across thousands of servers, there's no way “ as of right now “ for brands to reach as wide of an audience as they're used to on other social platforms. 

And in such niche communities on Mastodon, it would be difficult for brands to join in on conversations organically. We're not sure Mastodon is the right place for brands to insert themselves just yet. But if its exponential growth continues, there could soon be room for brands to dip their toes in the water. We'll be keeping an eye out!

Want more advice on your brand strategy and what platforms to utilize? Reach out to us below to get in touch with our social media experts!