How to Track Traffic From Meta’s Threads
There’s a new social media platform on the digital scene—Threads, brought to you by the creators of Instagram. If you’re like millions already using the platform to drive traffic and share links to other content channels, you’ll need a way to track the impact.
Parse.ly can help with that.
What is Threads?
Threads is Meta’s new social media platform—a direct competitor to Twitter, now “X”, and structured in a nearly identical way.
“Instagram is where billions of people around the world connect over photos and videos. Our vision with Threads is to take what Instagram does best and expand that to text, creating a positive and creative space to express your ideas.” —From Meta’s Press Release
After its launch on July 5, 2023, the platform generated more than 100 million sign-ups, including many potential advertisers and business accounts.
With the platform in its infancy, there is confusion over how to best track the traffic coming from Threads. As of our publication date, Meta does not offer a Threads-specific referrer, meaning you’ll have to track referral traffic via UTMs.
What is referral traffic?
Referral traffic is the segment of traffic that arrives on your website through another source, like a link on another domain—Threads, in this case. These traffic sources can include Search (think Google, Bing, etc.), social media, backlinks from other sites, and more.
Remember, your social media channels are a prime way to provide more value to your existing audience, introducing your content to people who may have never found you otherwise.
How to identify Threads traffic in Parse.ly
So far, we’ve seen Threads traffic register as either Direct or Instagram referrals. Because there are issues with how Meta structures traffic and links—e.g., stripping
threads from UTM parameters—the best way to track this traffic is through a comprehensive UTM campaign..
For example, use the following UTM structure for a link to a series of sponsored articles:
- Campaign: sponsored
- Medium: social
- Source: meta_threads*
- Content: [sponsor name]
- Term: [optional]
*You could use
meta on its own because Parse.ly recognizes the difference between Facebook and Instagram referrals. Whatever approach, just keep track of it and note what the parameter is referencing.
Finally, without a rigorous UTM tracking strategy, you’ll likely find it hard to distinguish between Instagram and Threads traffic. Because some Threads traffic is registering as Direct, you may miss important attribution to Threads posts.
The unpredictability of new channels
As with all new things, there are many unknowns—Meta may decide suddenly to start providing referral attribution for Threads.
If and when the Threads landscape changes, we’ll update this article. As always, feel free to check in with your Parse.ly account manager with any questions or concerns.