It’s been in development for some time, and now, it looks like the new “Paid Partnership” label for Threads is close to a full launch.
As you can see in this example, shared by Zac Schillinger, some users are now seeing a “Mark as paid partnership” option, which is accessible via a new three dots menu option at the top right of the Threads composer window.
Meta began working on a paid partnership label for Threads shortly after launch, because while it isn’t planning to launch ads in the app till it reaches a level of mass adoption, the Threads team won’t be able to stop creators from publishing affiliate content themselves. And having no way to label such could bring it unwanted attention from the FTC and other regulatory bodies.
As such, it’s an important addition, which will also provide a means for brands to reach audiences in the app.
And given its more recent growth, that’s fast becoming a bigger consideration.
According to insight from data.ai, Threads downloads have seen a big uptick over the last week, which has seen the app rise from #40 to #20 on the overall download charts.
Reports of widespread misinformation around the Israel-Hamas war spreading on X, along with various moves designed to force users to pay for the app, and promote native, long-form content (instead of off-platform sharing), have seemingly had a negative impact within at least some X communities, with many journalists, in particular, now migrating to Threads.
Which is seemingly what X owner Elon Musk wants. Elon has repeatedly criticized an increasing rage of “mainstream” news outlets, labeling journalists as liars, puppets, or worse. Which, of course, only makes them less inclined to keep using his app. And while Elon reserves the right to share his personal opinion, especially in the app that he paid $44 billion for, there is a risk that he could be alienating a key, influential user base, which could inadvertently open the door for Threads to gain pace.
And with the Threads team also working on a range of much-requested features, including Trending Topics, pinned posts, and more, it does feel like Threads is re-gaining some of that initial steam it had which saw it break the record for the fastest app to reach 100 million members.
Many people came in, checked out Threads, then went back to what they know in X. But as Threads continues to evolve, and its algorithms improve, it does feel like its extending its opportunity.
Which means that ads are inevitable, and while they’re still not here yet, branded content tags could be an interesting consideration for some businesses.