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Threads vs. Twitter (Or X, possibly)
A comparison between X and Meta's new product, Threads
10 million users in the first seven hours. Meta, the company behind Facebook and Instagram has just declared war on Twitter with their new app Threads with one of the biggest moves in the social media sector this year. This article will be divided into several sections covering both the good and bad about Threads, as well as what it could mean for the future of the company.
In the last three days, Elon Musk has also announced a large change in Twitter, with a complete rebrand and new goal. However, the only difference between Twitter and X as of yet is the name. In the announcement of the rebrand, Elon Musk set his sites on turning Twitter into an app for everything from banking to messaging. Elon Musk has talked several times in the past about the everything app, which he also called X. Because of this, it appears that he wants to turn Twitter into this everything app. Despite this, no projects were announced other than the many iterations of the new logo. However, there is still some confusion as to if Twitter is actually now called X. While the site on Google has the new “X” logo, the URL still says Twitter.
Even more confusingly, on the Apple App Store for iPhone there is the X logo icon with Twitter’s name,
But if you go to the Apple App Store on a Mac it’s still just Twitter.
This doesn’t really appear to me like it will be either particularly good or bad for Twitter, as it mostly just leaves me deeply confused. However, I still felt like it needed to be mentioned, as a rebrand (even an incomplete one) is a very important event for a company.
Editors Note: As I am still unsure what to call Twitter, for the rest of this article it will be referred to as Twitter (X).
Threads, which at its core is a direct competitor and semi-clone of Twitter (X), picked a fantastic time to launch. After Elon Musk bought Twitter (X) late last year, the valuation of Twitter (X) dropped from $44 billion down to $15 billion USD, according to Fidelity. Additionally, sentiment about Twitter (X) has fallen significantly, with a large number of users vocally disliking the platform. Ads have also increased significantly on the site, and verification is now a subscription service so it means much less to have the blue checkmark. However, possibly the most unpopular change was the restriction on how many posts you could view. Designed to combat spam bots, new users can see 300 posts a day, older users can see 600, and Twitter (X)Blue subscribers can see 6000 posts. While this seems like a lot, without the paid subscription you can only scroll Twitter (X) for approximately 10 minutes (Not reading posts).
These changes have turned many users against Twitter (X), so when Threads launched they had no problem switching over.
While it isn’t the only factor, Threads has been launched at a time that has certainly boosted its success.
It’s undeniable that Threads is a near-copy of Twitter (X). However, Threads has made several improvements over Twitter (X) that give it an edge. The largest of these improvements at this time is how Meta has solved the problem Twitter (X) has been trying to fix with all of its questionable changes. They accomplished this by requiring users to verify their Threads account by using their Instagram account. The account can’t be brand new to pass either.
New Threads accounts are given a number in the order they joined, giving Instagram users the incentive to create a Threads account. With over 2 billion active monthly users on Instagram, this is a massive monthly target audience.
Consequently, creators are also given incentives to join Threads, and fast. Because Threads is connected to Instagram, one feature of the app is that any of your followers on Instagram that join Threads will auto-follow your Threads account. However, if your follower joins first then you won’t have them signed up immediately. By doing this creators want to sign-up for Threads quickly. Threads algorithm significantly favors followed accounts over strangers, so creators are seeing a big increase in audience on Threads than other apps.
Threads still has several key features missing that need to be added, such as a proper trending page. However, it has the basics for a great social media site
Future of Threads
One thing that needs to be kept in mind when considering Threads is that Zuckerberg has explicitly stated that monetization isn’t what Threads is focusing on until 1 billion users are passed. Because user experience is generally negatively impacted whenever ads are introduced, positive user experiences being noted now aren’t very accurate because the major negative factor has been barely introduced yet
Because of Meta’s massive data collection, ads are extremely profitable for the company whenever they introduce ads into their apps. This is because they have so much information they have on their users, so advertisers can be guaranteed much more targeted ads, so they will spend more. As a result of this level of data collection, however, Threads is currently banned in the EU because of privacy laws.
Compared to Twitter (X), which is invasive in its own right, you are also sharing your Health & Fitness, Financial Info, and Sensitive Info, along with other undisclosed information. If Threads modifies its policies to be allowed in the EU it will unlock an even greater audience.
Threads have blasted into the social media sector and immediately began putting pressure on Twitter (X). Having already passed 100 million users, this new service could mean big things for Meta, especially coming out of the extremely poorly received Metaverse. However, it’s simply too early to make a definitive call on the service. I am intending on waiting for Meta to fully monetize it so I can judge how it impacts the user experience.
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