Is Threads the New Twitter?

In less than a week after its launch, Threads, Meta’s competitor to Twitter, has amassed more than 100 million signups, including celebrities, influencers, news outlets, brands, and everyday social media users. And that number is expected to continue to grow rapidly, making it the strongest challenger to Elon Musk’s Twitter, which has been plagued with a host of recent struggles.

Meta is targeting social media users looking for an alternative to Twitter by marketing Threads as a text-based version of Meta’s photo-sharing app Instagram. The company says Threads provides “a new, separate space for real-time updates and public conversations.”

Read on for details about this new social media platform, what it does best, and why it might have what it takes to finally topple the mighty Twitter.


What is Threads?

Source: Meta

Threads is similar to Twitter in that it allows users to publish short text posts, images or videos; engage in conversations; and like or repost messages. The app is, however, uniquely tied to Instagram, and Instagram credentials are required to log in. Once signed up, users can automatically follow the same accounts they follow on Instagram.

Meta says it created Threads with the intention of making it a more “personal and intimate” text-based app. It includes features like disappearing messages as well as privacy features that allow users to control who can see and reply to posts.

“Our vision is to take the best parts of Instagram and create a new experience for text, ideas and discussing what’s on your mind,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an Instagram post.


How is Threads Different From Twitter?

While Threads looks very similar to Twitter, there are several distinct differences between the two platforms.

Character Limit
Threads’ character limit is 500, while Twitter’s is just 280 for free users.

Users on Twitter are presented with both an algorithm-driven feed and a chronological feed. Threads only offers one, non-linear feed that includes a mix of posts from accounts users follow and others in which they might be “interested.”

Threads currently does not use hashtags, a feature that allows users to quickly find and engage with content related to specific topics on both Twitter and Instagram.

Unlike Twitter, which is accessible via mobile apps and web browsers, Threads is exclusively available as a mobile app for Android and iOS devices.

Current Events
Users should not expect to find breaking news on Threads. In an interview with The Verge, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said the “incremental engagement or revenue” from covering politics or hard news is not worth the effort. “The goal isn’t to replace Twitter,” he said. “The goal is to create a public square for communities on Instagram that never really embraced Twitter and for communities on Twitter (and other platforms) that are interested in a less angry place for conversations, but not all of Twitter.”


Will Threads Be the Twitter Killer?

The launch of Threads is certainly well-timed, as Twitter has become increasingly erratic since being purchased by Musk. The app’s user experience has suffered due to frequent glitches and poorly executed changes to the platform. Threads may be Twitter’s final unraveling, as traffic analysts have reported a rapid decline in Twitter usage over the past week.

“In the first two full days that Threads was generally available, [last] Thursday and Friday, web traffic to was down 5% compared with the same days of the previous week and down 11% compared with July 6 and 7, 2022,” said David Carr, a senior insights manager at Similarweb. “We’ve been reporting for a while that Twitter is down compared with last year – June traffic was down 4% – but Threads seems to be taking a bigger bite out of it.”

Carr’s analysis suggests that Threads, despite its infancy, is already having a discernible impact on Twitter’s web traffic. These figures underscore the promising start that Threads has had, but as Carr indicates, attributing Twitter’s downturn entirely to the rise of Threads may be premature. Consumer trends can be fickle, and it is possible Twitter’s decline in usage is due to other factors. Threads is still in its early stages, and it remains to be seen if it can retain users, offer appealing features, and build a community that can rival Twitter’s.


A Common Thread: Better with Baer

As social media platforms evolve, businesses need to adapt their marketing strategies. That’s where we can help. With a proven track record, Baer Performance Marketing helps clients navigate the ever-changing digital landscape and leverage the latest trends and platforms to maximize reach and impact. Whether you’re considering a move to Threads, strengthening your presence on Twitter, or diversifying across multiple platforms, BPM has the expertise to guide you through the transition. Let BPM help you make informed decisions about your social media strategy. Contact us today.