Threads is the latest social media app to take the world by storm, reaching 100 million users in less than a week and positioning itself as a friendly alternative to Twitter. But following the latest developments surrounding Twitter, and given that Threads has since lost over half of its active users, is it really a suitable replacement for Twitter, or is it merely a trend that many will lose interest in by the end of the year?
In this blog, V Formation’s digital team explains what Threads is all about, how it differs to Twitter, and how it can best be utilised in these early stages.
Threads was created by Mark Zuckerberg’s company, Meta, marketed as a ‘text-based conversation app’ and has since become a rival for Twitter. The app is currently not supported on desktop and can only be accessed via an existing Instagram account. It provides users with the option to seamlessly transfer all their followers from Instagram to Threads.
The app preaches values of friendship and kindness and is designed to create engaging conversations between likeminded individuals. Zuckerberg appears keen to ensure that Threads is not used as a live news source and so news and politics will not be as prominent on the app as they currently are on Twitter.
Threads is available to users over the age of 13, with those under 16 automatically provided with a private account for enhanced protection. The app is available in over 100 countries however it has not yet launched in the EU, as it does not currently comply with EU data privacy policies.
The new face of Twitter
Meta’s app has launched at a time of turmoil for Twitter – or X, as it has since become – with many loyal users unhappy with the recent changes that owner Elon Musk has introduced. Twitter’s traffic levels have certainly decreased since the launch of Threads; however, it is too early to tell whether the app will ultimately replace Twitter for good.
Last year, Musk relaunched Twitter Blue, a service where users can pay a monthly fee of $8 to display a blue verification tick on their profile and access perks such as prioritised ranking, 25,000 characters per tweet, and viewing 50 percent fewer ads than the standard user.
Users without Twitter Blue can only send tweets consisting of 280 characters and the number of tweets they can read is restricted, making it harder for audiences to be reached. Twitter Blue accounts can now read 6,000 posts per day, whereas unverified accounts can only view 600 posts and new un-verified accounts 300 posts.
Twitter has also disabled the free API disrupting third party tools and services such as analytics, social media management, and influencer tracking, many users fear that these will come at a cost if reinstated.
It has recently been announced that Musk has changed the branding from Twitter to X, with Tweets being called ‘x’s instead. Whilst it hasn’t yet been confirmed as to what this will ultimately mean for the platform, it is clear that big changes are coming, whether users want them to or not.
With Twitter – or X – users becoming increasingly disgruntled, more and more are turning to Threads as their platform of choice instead.
Threads vs Twitter
Threads and Twitter are undeniably similar, but there are many significant differences between the apps too, as shown in the table below.
Using Threads for marketing
Many influencers, brands and celebrities have quickly taken to Threads and are experimenting with tone of voice and style to suit the new platform. Although the app’s algorithm is still a mystery, there is an opportunity for brands to reach new audiences via Threads.
Unlike most other new platforms, there is no need to start from scratch with Threads as users can transfer their existing profile and followers from Instagram. Instagram verified users can also carry their verification across to Threads.
There is no denying that Threads has huge potential, having launched when many users were dissatisfied with the direction of Twitter, and continuing to break records following its release. The success of Threads will likely depend on the eventual outcome of Twitter, and how the rebrand to X is received.
It is still early days for Threads and so taking a ‘watch and wait’ approach is advisable until we learn more about how the changes to X will impact the user experience.