Companies have tried many times to create a new app that would compete directly with Twitter and take market share aware from them. No company has been successful prior to Meta’s launch of their new public conversation app, Threads on July 6th, 2023.
For marketers, staying on top of the newest platforms and trends is super important, as it gives the potential for new outlets that companies can engage with their customers on. Although Threads is only a few days old, it has gained traction that other Twitter competitors have never reached.
Threads may become the hottest social media platform on the market, so let’s take a look at what Threads is, the similarities and differences between Threads and Twitter, and common concerns users have vocalized.
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What is Instagram’s New Threads App?
Threads is a new app created by Meta (the owner of Facebook and Instagram). As of June 10th, Threads had over 100 million users making it one of the fastest-growing social media platforms.
The Threads app is meant to be a conversational space where users can share their thoughts and discuss topics with others. Threads is a direct competitor to Twitter and has a similar interface with the same concepts and goals.
Twitter in Today’s World
Twitter has been around since its launch in 2006 and is now one of the more popular social media platforms that people use. The goal of Twitter was to create a space where people can go and share their thoughts and opinions with other users and create conversations.
Today, people tend to use Twitter to get news, for entertainment purposes, to share their opinions on hot topics, and follow their favorite brands.
Oftentimes, new platforms are hard to get the hang of and no one knows where to start. Threads made it easy for Instagram users to easily create their accounts and start engaging with others immediately.
Get Started With Your Instagram Account
Creating a Threads account is extremely easy! Simply download the Threads app from the app store and open the app. Threads is a Meta app that basically pulls users’ Instagram accounts to create a Threads account.
When ‘setting up’ an account, it will ask if users want to copy over their bio, profile image, and links. They even let users follow their entire following list on Instagram in Threads with one click.
An important thing to note is in order to create a Threads account, users must have an existing Instagram profile. Our team had our Threads account set up in a matter of seconds!
Initial Thoughts and Key Features of Threads
Once in the app, there is not much clicking or navigating needed. There are only five tabs that users can interact with and they are extremely similar to other social media platforms.
- Home: The first button on the left is the home button which is where users’ Threads feed is located.
- Search: The search tab allows users to search for other accounts
- New Thread: This section is where users can write and publish their first thread
- Activity: The activity section is home to all updates and notifications to a user’s account like likes and mentions
- Your Profile: This is where the user’s content and information lives
Since the app is easy to navigate, let’s take a look at some of the key points and features that our team and other Threads users have noticed.
- There are no advertising options on Threads, at least for now!
- Users are not able to switch between Threads accounts without first logging out.
- The algorithm is unknown. Users’ feeds will have a mix of content from accounts they follow and accounts they don’t. For our team, our feed has a ton of celebrity accounts that we never have engaged with.
- Users are concerned that if they delete their Threads account their Instagram account will also be deleted. Luckily the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, threaded that “you can deactivate your Threads account, which hides your Threads profile and content…but we’re looking into a way to delete your Threads account separately.”
For being a new app, the platform is user-friendly and allows for casual interaction between users. There are bound to be many updates and improvements along the way.
It is safe to say that most people have heard of or interacted with Twitter in their lifetime. Twitter has been around for about 17 years and has had the time to develop and refine its application.
Setting up a Twitter account is simple, not as easy as Threads, but easy enough that most people are able to create an account in a matter of minutes.
Initial Thoughts and Key Features
Twitter’s homepage is the first thing users see when they open the app! Their app design is pleasing and allows users to view others’ content in many different areas of the app.
Here are some of the other features of Twitter that people like.
- View your liked content and save content you enjoy in the bookmarks section
- When creating a tweet, users have more options that they can add to their tweets like audio and polls
- Twitter also offers “Spaces”, which is a place where users can join and have live audio conversations with one another
Threads vs. Twitter Similarities
Threads and Twitter are similar in many ways as both encourage public conversation and engagement with other users. The entire point of Threads was to bring a new platform similar to Twitter to market.
The interface of both Threads and Twitter is almost the exact same. Both Threads and Twitter allow users to like, comment/reply, repost, and share posts on the platforms. Both platforms have a home feed, search bar, content creation space, activity, and the ability to view your own profile.
Twitter and Threads are both apps that are centered around users creating short-form written content to share with others within a certain character limit. Users can add photos, links, and even videos to their tweets and threads!
Other Key Similarities
- Both Twitter and Threads users can have a verified profile
- Timely content, both offer real-time conversations on current topics
- Users can share tweets and threads with people outside of the app via text, email, etc.
Main Differences Between Threads and Twitter
Since we have gone over each platform in depth, let’s clarify the key differences between the two apps. Twitter definitely offers more features to users than Threads, but that doesn’t make it better or worse.
Most of the differences between the social media platforms are features that likely will be added to Threads or Twitter in the future to keep up with one another.
Although the interfaces are almost the same, the Threads interface is more simplistic and easier to navigate while Twitter’s interface can be more complex requiring more clicks for users to get to what they are looking for.
When creating content (tweets or threads) a key difference is that hashtags are frequently used and valued on Twitter, whereas Threads does not even recognize hashtags. Twitter uses hashtags in its trending topics section to help connect more users to content.
As of now, Threads does not offer any analytics besides the number of likes, replies, and shares a thread gets. Twitter gives additional analytics on your tweets like impressions, detail expands, profile visits, and new followers which is great for marketers or content creators to track the success of their tweets.
Discovering New Content
Twitter allows multiple outlets for users to discover new content. Aside from the accounts users follow, Twitter also integrates suggested content into users’ feeds. Users can even change their feed to sort by “for you” or “latest” (accounts following).
Twitter offers a search bar to look up topics, and a trending page to show the most used hashtags and keywords at that moment in time, so users can stay up to date with the current trends and news.
Unlike Twitter, Threads users are only able to discover new content by searching up other accounts and looking through their posted content and replies or through their Threads feed. There is no place to look at threads that have a certain keyword, hashtag, or trending topics.
Other Key Differences
- Twitter offers direct messaging between users, Threads does not
- There is no desktop version of Threads, users can only use the app
- Threads has a character limit of 500 while Twitter has a character limit of 280
Controversies With These Social Media Platforms
Anything new often comes with harsh opinions and controversies and Threads is no exception. So far, some people love it and some people hate it, so let’s take a look at three of the main ‘issues’ that have risen from the Threads app.
Privacy Within The Apps
A big concern with the new Instagram app is the amount of data Meta is able to track and link to a user’s identity.
Although a significant concern, it is important to note that if users already have an Instagram account, Threads is tracking the exact same data that Instagram has been. Twitter does track less of users’ data in comparison to Meta and their new platform, Threads.
Freedom of Speech Debate
As many may know, Elon Musk bought Twitter in 2022 with the intention to allow users more freedom of speech and limit the amount of censorship users face on the app. Many people have come to Twitter saying they have been banned from using Threads due to the content they posted.
It is safe to assume that anything that would get flagged on Facebook or Instagram is likely going to be flagged on Threads. Twitter is very flexible with the content they allow on the platform which is one of the reasons people love Twitter.
Twitter’s Legal Team Plans to Sue Meta
On the day of Threads’ launch, X Corp threatened to sue Meta for unlawfully using their intellectual property. Twitter claims that Meta hired ex-Twitter employees and assigned them to the Threads engineering team.
Meta came back saying that not a single former Twitter employee was working on the developmental team of Threads.
On Elon Musk’s Twitter, he tweeted, “Competiton is fine, cheating is not” in response to a tweet about a potential lawsuit. This is the start of what seems like a long legal battle between the two companies.
Which App is Best?
At the end of the day, from a marketing perspective, either social media platform is best if it is where your customers are.
Threads may just be hype and die down in the next few weeks, or Threads may take over and be the new Twitter, but as for now, the future of these apps is unknown.
Both offer great features and have limitations, so listen to your target audience and see where they want to see your content!