The new social media platform Threads was launched on July 5, 2023. Reports indicate that within the first day of launch, more than 30 million users have signed up. The app is designed for text-based conversations instead of photo updates. As users rush to join the platform, brands should also prioritize claiming accounts in order to guarantee the availability of their choice names—and to prevent potential bad faith registrants.

Although social media activity is largely concentrated on a few major platforms, new networks have continued to pop up and compete for users. With each launch, brand owners may face new challenges managing a social media strategy, including with obtaining their preferred user names and policing potential infringement. Acquiring social media handles that are owned by other people can be difficult (and sometimes expensive). Ownership of a registered trademark may not be enough to claim an account. Platforms will typically also consider how a name is being used, including whether the name might be used in accordance with fair use principles. Accounts that use a trademark in connection with content unrelated to the brand in question, or that act as “fan” pages sharing news and commentary, may not be subject to takedowns. In those cases, brand sometimes opt to negotiate with the owner and buy the handle.

For now, new Threads accounts are tied to existing Instagram accounts. And so, while Threads is considered a “separate space,” any brand with an existing social media handle on its platform should be able to use the same handle on Threads. It is not clear right now if there are any plans to separate the two platforms down the road. Its announcement states that it plans to make Threads compatible with open social networking protocols that would make the platform interoperable with other open networks. Threads names may therefore eventually have a wider reach.

Threads is still nascent. But early days mean opportunity, for better and for worse. Brands should consider taking advantage in order to maximize social media strategies moving forward.