When the exodus from Twitter first started last year, many tech-savvy people were moving to Mastodon and I wondered if brands would move their accounts to self hosted instances. After all, from a branding standpoint, @email@example.com is better than @firstname.lastname@example.org. At the end of that post, I posited that someone would come along with a service that handled the fediverse complexity for companies.
That service is Threads.
Lots of people have asked why Meta was interested in providing ActivityPub support. I honestly think part of the story is so Meta can tell brands – their advertisers – that they can just publish on Threads and it will eventually be accessible on any other non-Twitter platform. Of course, they’ve still got to deliver on that promise… right now Threads doesn’t have ActivityPub support.
So far, branded accounts have flocked to Threads. If @BRAND-NAME@threads.com becomes the default for official branded social content, Meta benefits. I still think companies would be better off owning their instance with a branded domain, and maybe we will get there some day, but for now, it looks like Threads is where the brands are headed.
(I think that eventually, Meta will offer an upgraded “brand tier” that allows companies to use their own domain instead of @threads.com. for a substanial fee, of course.)
Bob Wertz is a creative director, type designer, Ph.D. student and researcher living in Columbia, South Carolina.