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What is Threads?

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Threads

Have you heard of Threads yet? Released on July 5th, it has quickly become the talk of the social media town. But, what is it exactly and how can you use it for ministry? In this blog post you'll gain an understanding of what Threads is, it's current limitations and the ministry opportunities it presents.

 What is Threads?

Simply put, Threads is a text-based app built by Meta. It is a direct rival to Twitter. Threads looks and feels a lot like Twitter in that it has a feed of primarily text-based posts with people posting in real-time having conversations back and forth. Users can also post photos and videos. To sign up, down the app, then login using your Instagram profile. You have the opportunity to update your bio, but everything else, including your username and followers, will be imported from Instagram. One of the differences from Twitter is that your posts can be up to 500 characters (Twitter is 280).

Current Limitations of Threads

While lots of people are currently loving Threads and its clean look, there are some limitations to it. In many ways, what we are looking at and experiencing is version 1 of Threads. In some ways, this could be characterized as a soft launch. It looks clean and nice right now, but there are some key missing parts and limitations to it. Some of the limitations are:

  • No search options
  • No hashtags
  • No DM feature
  • No easy way to switch back and forth between accounts 
  • It's linked directly to Instagram. So, if you try to delete Threads, you'll delete Instagram, too.

How to Use Threads for Ministry?

If you think of Threads like you think of Twitter, you will be well on your way to use Threads for ministry purposes.   Here are some ways you can use it for ministry:

  • Meet new people. With a new app comes new opportunities to meet new people. Use this as an opportunity to get to know more people and encourage them. 
  • Share encouragement. This can be sharing Bible verse, sermons quotes or clips, links to Bible studies or podcast. You are not forcing anyone to listen, rather you are simply posting things that will encourage people in their faith. You can also ask people how you can pray for them. 
  • Interact with people. Just like any other platform, people will be sharing their life on the it. It could be great things or sad things. When they share great things, celebrate with them. When they share sad things, pray for them and give some encouragement. These can be great follow up opportunities for you down the road in which you can see how they are doing and encourage them some more. They will hopefully lead to spiritual conversations. 
  • Look for opportunities. Threads is still brand new. As it continues to grow and develop, it will add on new elements to the platform. As it does, use those new add-ons as opportunities to minister to other people. 

Conclusion

While some people are labeling Threads as a "Twitter Killer," it is far from that currently. Remember, this is version 1 of Threads. It will continue to make adjustments, get better and improve. While there are some limitations to it right now, there are also some great ministry opportunities. Take time to observe what is going on, engage with people and see how God opens up doors for you to use it, if not now, in the future. 

What do you think?  Have you tried out Threads yet? If so, what are your thoughts?  Share your ideas below or on social media.

Through the Digital Church Network we are helping physical and digital churches better understand the discipleship process, and helping churches and church planters understand this and other decentralized mindset shifts. Joining the DCN is free and be encouraged! 

Looking for a Coach or Guide to help you with social media and other digital ministry tools, take this quick survey and connect  today. 

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About Author

Tom Pounder
Tom Pounder

Tom Pounder was born and raised just outside of Washington, DC. He is the father of 4 daughters and loves being a girl dad. He has a background in Student Ministry working over 22 years with teenagers and currently serves as the Online Campus Pastor at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs and podcasts weekly at http://thechurch.digital.

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