Several renowned brands have made a notable shift away from utilizing Threads by Instagram, citing a decline in engagement as the primary reason. Interestingly, in contrast to this move, these brands continue to actively engage with their audience on Twitter, demonstrating a preference for the latter platform. Adding to this intrigue, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has made the decision to discontinue its presence on Threads, redirecting its focus to maintaining a strong presence on self-hosted Mastodon accounts. This strategic move aims to optimize their engagement with their audience in a manner that aligns with their communication goals.
In the realm of sports, the National Football League (NFL), revered as the nation’s most popular sports league, has taken a step back from Meta’s new platform. Despite boasting an impressive 1.9 million followers, the NFL has refrained from posting anything for a period of six weeks leading up to the commencement of the regular season. This decision has sparked conversations regarding the league’s online engagement strategy and its shifting dynamics.
Analyzing the BBC’s Shifting Social Media Strategy
In July of this year, the BBC made an intriguing move by initiating a six-month experiment with Mastodon, a decentralized social media platform. In a fascinating twist, they even opted to self-host their content on a custom domain they appropriately named Social.bbc. This decision not only highlights their willingness to explore new platforms but also showcases a pioneering spirit, creating an exciting and engaging space for their audience.
Even though the BBC has been relatively active on their Mastodon accounts, such as @BBC5Live @social.bbc and @BBCRadio4@social.bbc, it’s noteworthy that their presence on Threads, specifically @email@example.com, seems to have dwindled despite the platform garnering a higher level of engagement, especially on Meta’s Twitter alternative, now known as X.
Several theories could potentially explain this shift in BBC’s social media strategy. Firstly, there’s the consideration that the BBC might be exercising caution due to recent actions by Meta, where they geo-banned Canadian news outlets in response to Canada’s implementation of a “news tax” law. This move by Meta may have made the BBC wary of utilizing Threads for content dissemination, given the platform’s vulnerability to similar actions.
Another plausible theory centers around the BBC’s desire to have control over its social narrative. In this scenario, they might be strategically directing their audience from Threads to their Mastodon accounts within the Fediverse, aligning with their aim to manage and curate their digital presence in a manner that suits their organizational objectives.
Anticipating Strategic Direction of BBC for Social Media in 2024
Lastly, it’s plausible that the BBC perceives Threads as an inefficient allocation of time and resources. The lack of a public API for Threads could be a limiting factor, making it challenging to automate the process of posting news content to their account seamlessly. This consideration, from a resource and efficiency perspective, could contribute to their prioritization of other platforms that offer more streamlined and automated posting capabilities.
In analyzing the BBC’s evolving approach to social media, it’s evident that they’ve adopted a cautious yet adaptable strategy, striving for narrative control while considering efficiency in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
As we look ahead to 2024, there’s speculation that the BBC might deliberate on the future of their Mastodon account. Various factors, including the diminishing popularity of certain platforms like X and the plateauing growth of Threads, could influence this decision. Moreover, recent controversies surrounding Meta may prompt the BBC to reevaluate its social media presence. Despite these considerations, maintaining an active presence on Mastodon could prove strategic for the BBC. It not only ensures their sustained online visibility but also prevents any potential restrictions on their voice within the dynamic digital sphere.