The beauty industry is entering its Threads era. From companies like Tarte Cosmetics, Milk Makeup, Sephora and Estée Lauder Cos. to beauty tastemakers including Desi Perkins and Monet McMichael, the industry’s denizens are over 100 million users who have taken to the text-based platform since it was launched by Meta late Wednesday.
Like Twitter, Threads allow users to browse and share thoughts, photos and videos and repost others’ content. Threads have a 500-character limit, and videos uploaded to the platform must be under 5 minutes long. Unlike Twitter, Threads possesses the advantage of a clean slate: The platform still needs to be renewed by the kind of controversy the former has grappled with since Elon Musk took the reins as Chief Executive Officer in October. Shortly after entering the role, the tech billionaire laid off most of Twitter’s workforce without notice; his most recent offense occurred last week when he rolled out temporary limits to how many tweets users can view per day to combat “data scrapping.”
All of Threads seems to be good, but there's been some speculation over what happens if you change your mind and no longer want an account – and while it looks like you can delete posts on Threads and deactivate your account up to once a week if you wish actually to delete it forever, this will wipe your Instagram account too. "To delete your Threads profile and data, you'll need to delete your Instagram account," the Threads help centre page on Instagram explains. A bit much? And it may have deterred a few people if they'd have known this sooner.
Although the cancelation thing, Threads appears uniquely positioned to snap up at least some of the app’s market share. “It’s almost like a reset, right?,” said Amy Liu, Founder and CEO of viral skincare brand Tower 28. “I think people feel slightly safer in this Threads environment; it’s like all the things that people want to get back to that they felt like Twitter once was.” Tower 28 poked fun at the Threads vs Twitter discourse by comparing the SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray’s old and new packaging.
As Threads is connected to Instagram, people can easily sync their following list on Threads with their Instagram accounts. Not only does this make it easier to quickly build a following — Tower 28, for example, already counts more than 16,300 followers on the platform versus just over 1,000 on its long-standing Twitter account — it could also reduce trolling, a growing issue on platforms like TikTok and Twitter.
"Because your Threads is tied to your Instagram, there's a little bit more accountability over what you say, whereas you can kind of join other social media apps and have no one know who you are," said Afreka Ebanks, Creative and Brand Strategist and Account Director at Gen Z digital marketing agency Juv Consulting.
"When you enter Threads, it's like entering a party full of people you already know — it's instant ease. I joke with my team that it's about ROV, not ROI right now — Return on Vibes," said Christine White, Ulta Beauty's Senior Director of social media and content. The masstige retailer racked up more than 249,000 followers on Threads, prompting users to share their favorite beauty products and playfully rally behind actress Keke Palmer in light of her recent baby daddy drama (which, ironically, kicked off on Twitter).
White added, “Twitter allows brands to really have a personality: It’s still very much an important part of our ecosystem, but the emergence of Threads allows us to explore what community-building could look like over here, especially as it’s attached to Meta.”
Elsewhere on Threads, makeup artist and Founder Bobbi Brown has opened up the floor to beauty questions; Ipsy is asking users to share go-to Dunkin’ Donuts drink orders; Refy Beauty has announced a London pop-up next week, and Benefit Cosmetics — best known for its brow products and services — is making “threading” puns.
Carolyne Guss, Group Vice President of Marketing at Sally Beauty Holdings, said, “We’ve seen Twitter serve a need for us in customer service and support; we see Threads so far as being a place for further engagement, and a new way to more closely connect to the community we’ve built on Instagram.”
“I remember the day that Instagram created Stories back when we all had Snapchat — it felt meaningful in how we would consume content, and it turned out to have been. Threads cannot be ignored. It was 2 a.m. or something like that — I just felt it was important to be there and learn from the beginning,” said Jana Bobosikova, CEO of Epic Future Labs and Co-founder of Web3 beauty brand Kiki. While many wonder whether Threads is the world’s second chance at a pre-Musk Twitter, Bobosikova posits the app could be the text-first platform for beauty discourse that Twitter never entirely became.
Yarden Horwitz, the Co-founder of beauty trend forecasting company Spate, also sees an opportunity for an app like Threads to take off within the beauty community. “The transition for beauty players may be less intimidating since Threads has a foundation in Instagram, a platform beloved by creators and brands for over a decade. Another advantage of a text-based platform is that creative budgets and lead times are significantly lower,” she said.
The newly launched textured hair platform and brand OurX is already harnessing Threads’ momentum and accessibility to highlight its education-first approach. “Threads is actually a way for us to take some of the education we’re doing on Instagram and make it into bite-sized Threads or nuggets,” said Meghan Maupin, CEO of OurX, adding the brand has embarked on a “Hair Tip of the Day” series featuring wisdom from celebrity hairstylist and brand partner Johnny Wright.
Maupin added, “Many people who fall into our target demographic are moving off Twitter. Especially for this consumer with highly-textured hair, we’re making sure we create a safe space for them to discuss hair and other cultural topics on new platforms like Threads.”
Beauty creator Joshua Specks echoed Maupin’s sentiments about Threads feeling potentially more conducive to amiable discourse than Twitter, which he added “is iconic — Twitter will always be there. When I think about the people that follow me on Twitter versus those that follow me on Instagram, I think Twitter comes with much more critique. When I have videos go viral, and they end up on Twitter, they tend to garner a little more hate,” said Specks, who counts more than 300,000 TikTok followers and is best known for his experimental makeup looks.
He added that Threads’ marriage of TikTok’s impulse toward laid-back content and Instagram’s aesthetically-pleasing M.O. could help translate the platform to a mass audience. “I would love to see brands be more personal — I feel like Threads is a great opportunity for us to kind of merge all the apps into one; it can be a Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok — all things of that nature,” Specks said.
The beauty industry is utilizing this fresh-new platform to build a new world that Twitter never could, a place to interact with its community, and a way to give customers the sense of belonging to the brand they deserve. It's a fantastic chance to feel in a different and accessible environment. Why don't you download it right away?