More often than not, my technological knowledge as a young adult in PR feels expansive. I grew up in the age of social media, but my personal platform preferences have excluded tools my industry now requires knowledge of.
When I was recently thrust into a conversation about Threads, I exposed the embarrassing shallowness in my knowledge of X, formerly known as Twitter.
While many people joined Threads as an X alternative, I joined with minimal understanding and no expectations.
From an outsider’s perspective, Threads exemplifies how quickly media users flock from one platform to the next. The launch of Meta’s new app reaffirms how dynamic and fluid social media is, highlighting the challenge platforms and companies face constantly striving to stay relevant and contemporary.
Platforms are nonfunctional without their users, reminding us in PR that there is a constant need for adaptability in this deeply interconnected world.
According to Instagram head Adam Mosseri, the goal of Threads is not to replace X, but to “create a public square for communities on Instagram that never really embraced [X], and for communities on [X] and other platforms that are interested in a less angry place for conversations.”
The referenced anger concerns the increasingly argumentative and partisan banter that grabs individual users' attention on text-based apps.
Aiming to avoid this culture, Threads serves as a user engagement case study: beyond combative statements to generate emotional reactions, which eye-catching strategies will emerge as effective?
Working in PR, I encounter various challenges within the media landscape.
Rampant misinformation poses a significant obstacle that compels communicators to prioritize truth in the face of a landscape tainted by falsehoods. Social media algorithms also create echo chambers and restrict user attention to narrow topics in a cyclical manner.
Threads, despite being an extension of Meta, is still in its early stages of confronting these issues. The platform has likely considered these problems,and continues to still, but there hasn't been enough time to establish comprehensive guidelines. As a result, both users and PR pros have yet to fully grasp the breadth of challenges and opportunities ahead.
Social media is evolving before our eyes and Threads provides a vivid example of this ever-changing environment. It is our job, as PR pros, to cut through market saturation, overcome misinformation and deliver clear and compelling messages.
I believe many people in my generation are curious to see which media platforms go extinct in our lifetimes. I rue the day some youth sasses my lack of modern media knowledge, and I definitely will poke fun at their naivety about platforms I used back in my day.
No one can truly say what will happen in the future or exactly how Threads will influence the PR industry. Despite having much to learn, I embrace these new possibilities, and platforms, wholeheartedly as growth and flexibility are essential in this dynamic industry that I am thrilled to be a part of.
Cadence Gronski is a communications assistant at Rokk Solutions.