Digitas North America’s Ariel Sims assesses the Threads and X era of the social ad market
For all the attention being paid to X (née Twitter) these days, Ariel Sims is keeping a closer eye on Meta’s Threads at the moment. Between the two text-based social platforms, the latter is the one that the svp and head of paid social at Digitas North America said she’s spending more time talking with clients about and thinking about.
“We’re having more conversation around [Threads]. But because my remit is typically in paid [advertising and] there’s no paid advertising on Threads, it’s more of a POV around what are you seeing, what’s the usage looking like, how do we play in that space,” Sims said on the latest Digiday Podcast episode.
Threads usage appears to have gone down significantly since its launch in early July. According to Sensor Tower, daily usage was down 82% in less than a month. Nonetheless, Sims sees Threads staying in the conversation for “at least the next six, eight months.” At which time Meta may finally introduce ads on Threads after playing coy on its ad plans with ad buyers so far.
“All we know is that it’s not this year [when Meta will introduce ads to Threads]. That’s the only thing that we’ve heard,” Sims said.
Here are a few highlights from the conversation, which have been edited for length and clarity.
Expectations for Threads ads
I think it’s going to roll into [Meta’s] native platforms and ads manager. That’s my assumption. Like as an additional placement, which makes sense. More inventory equals lower CPMs.
Threads vs. X
What I want to see with Threads ads is how it differentiates itself from X. One of the strongest advertising products on X has got to be Amplify, the pre-roll [ad] into content that people want to see. We’re coming up on elections, Olympics where people are going to be consuming content at a higher rate. When you have this prime ad space right ahead of a video that people want to see, there’s so much value in that. I would like to see that with Threads.
Ad spending on X
We’re not seeing [client ad spending on X] at pre-acquisition levels. I think brands are putting their feet in the water a bit just to understand what are we seeing from a cost standpoint, what are we seeing in comparison to other platforms … but we’re still not seeing it [matching] pre-pandemic levels.
Taking the Pulse on TikTok
We’re seeing a lot of our advertisers who are heavy on TikTok leveraging [the platform’s post-roll-style ad program] Pulse. There’s definitely value in that. Pulse Premium is still fairly new; I believe they’re just starting to take bookings for it. I want to see what comes with that. That’s obviously going to be at a higher price point [because] you’re talking premium publishers and your [ad] is directly after that.
More in Marketing
In this week’s Digiday+ Research Briefing, we examine how Snapchat is pitching itself as an alternative to current social platforms, how Priceline and other e-commerce companies are approaching generative AI, and how legacy programmatic media buying practices often disadvantage Black-owned media companies, as seen in recent data from Digiday+ Research.
What Walmart’s Vizio acquisition could mean for retail media — and the ripple effects that may hit industry data
The move will bolster Walmart’s retail media offering, Walmart Connect, adding streaming capabilities that will help it attract more brand marketing ad dollars.
Pfizer has developed its own generative AI platform called “Charlie,” named after Pfizer co-founder Charles Pfizer.