What's Really Going On With Threads & X?
Can Threads compete with X (formerly Twitter)? Discover the latest updates and what we can expect from the future of the text-based social media platforms.
In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, few apps have generated as much news or chatter as the takeover and rebranding of X (formerly Twitter) and the launch of Instagram’s newest app, Threads. These two social platforms have not only been in the headlines, but also at the forefront of discussions among tech enthusiasts, industry experts, and marketers alike. But what exactly is going on with Threads and X?
Everything You Need To Know About Threads
Threads is a new app built by the Instagram team for sharing text updates and joining public conversations. By leveraging users' Instagram credentials to sign up, Threads had over 100 million users within five days of its launch, making it one of the fastest-growing apps in history. Being a part of Meta’s infrastructure gave Threads a head start, but the app launched earlier than anticipated and lacked key features, such as a search function, hashtags, and a following feed. The early enthusiasm for Threads began to fade, with its active users plummeting to 25 million in week two. So now the question on everyone's mind is, is the Twitter rival app here to stay?
- Productive and creative conversations
- Sharing industry insights
- Building loyal communities
- Opportunity for brands to connect with users
- Real-time updates
- Following and engaging with influencers, celebrities, and other public figures
- Promotion and marketing
Since day one, the Meta team has welcomed feedback and is constantly rolling out new features and changes to ensure the app offers the most engaging user experience.
- Users can now share Threads in Instagram DMs by tapping the ‘Send on Instagram’ option.
- A web experience for Threads has rolled out, allowing users to post a Thread, view their feed, and interact with other people’s Threads if they’re logged into their account.
- An option for a chronological feed was added, so users can see both a ‘For You’ feed that mixes profiles they follow and recommended content, and a ‘Following’ feed that only shows posts from people they follow.
- A revamped user interface that's sleeker and more user-friendly than ever before, making it easier to navigate through messages and stories.
- Stories Collage allows users to create captivating visual narratives by seamlessly blending photos and videos. It's a game-changer for those looking to add artistic flair to their stories. And speaking of stories, Threads now lets you share your Stories directly with close friends from Instagram, ensuring you can keep those special moments within your inner circle.
- Threads is doubling down on user privacy controls with customizable settings that let users decide who sees their activity status, messages, and stories.
- Threads is still a very new social network and it’s too early to judge the app’s future success, especially as new features are constantly rolling out.
- Threads has attracted a high-profile user base that has always been an appeal for Twitter. Early access to Threads was given to celebrities, athletes, influencers, and more, which has elevated its coolness factor.
- Meta is a powerhouse and will continue to evolve Threads and leverage its strengths to cross-promote its family of apps.
- Advertising opportunities are on the horizon. Just like ad placements within Instagram, Reels, and Stories, Threads will likely allow brands to promote within the feed as well.
- If any social media network were to compete with Twitter, now is the time.
What’s Going On At Twitter?
Elon Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion at the end of 2022. Since then, the billionaire has rolled out update after update, slowly turning Twitter into his vision of an “everything app.” The biggest change came in July, when Musk replaced Twitter’s iconic blue bird logo with the letter “X.” This acquisition has caused hundreds of advertisers to pull spending on the platform, leading to a 50% decrease in ad revenue. Was the end of Twitter, erased in the form of a rebrand, also the demise of the platform as we now know it, X?
While a lot has changed since Musk’s takeover, the fundamentals of the Twitter platform are still there:
- Staying updated with the latest news
- Following live events, such as sporting events and award shows
- Advertising opportunities for brands
- Following and engaging with high-profile people, everyone from celebrities to politicians
- Opportunity for brands to connect with users
- Engagement and discussion
- Personal expression
- Musk rolled out ‘view count’ which allows users and creators to see just how many people saw a tweet, regardless of the number of likes it received.
- Twitter Blue, the platform’s subscription service (which includes the once notable check mark) increased pricing to $7.99/month for individuals and $1,000/month for organizations.
- Third-party apps’ API access was cut with no notice and new API subscription tiers start at $42,000 per month.
- A brand-new integration with cloud storage services gives users direct access to their files and documents within the app.
- Smart Reminders: X now uses AI to analyze users' schedules and suggest the most appropriate times for reminders, ensuring they never miss an important event again.
- The app's note-taking capabilities have also received a boost with the introduction of rich text formatting. Now, users can customize their notes with bold, italics, bullet points, and more.
- With Live Collaboration Mode, users can now invite others to collaborate in real time, making teamwork smoother and more effective.
- Chaos is the best word to describe the status of X. From massive layoffs and a verification controversy to a total rebrand, X has become an unpredictable social platform.
- Brand safety has become a bigger issue on X as Musk has removed safeguards limiting the spread of misinformation and other potentially offensive content.
- Musk might not have enough trust from his user base to fulfill his vision for an “everything app.”
- Users have spent years building a strong community and following on Twitter, and aren’t likely to throw that away for a new app.
- It’s still a go-to social network for real-time news, sports commentary, trends, and so much more. The fact is, people who liked Twitter are probably still checking X, regardless of the recent changes.
The Bottom Line
Both Threads and X offer compelling social experiences, each with its own set of advantages. With X’s operational turbulence and Threads looking to grow its usage and engagement, both apps should remain top of mind and followed closely by marketers and advertisers.
And while we might never see the proposed cage match take place between Musk and Zuck, it goes to show they are both willing to fight to take their social media platforms to the next level. The question that remains is: who will come out on top?