Twitter users have been bitter since Elon Musk, lived up to his word when he responded to a user’s comment saying, “Prepare to be disappointed”, addressing the early stages of the new open-source algorithm. Musk has made multiple adjustments to the microblogging site since the $44 billion acquisition in October 2022. Instead of improving the experience, the updates widely disrupted the user base, particularly for Twitter Ads users.
Instagram Inc. launched threads on 5 July 2023, as a “text-based conversation app”. The app has surpassed 5 million users in 5 days, smashing ChatGPT’s previous record of 1 million+ users in the same amount of time.
Threads pursue similar interests as that of Twitter, which focus on public discussions and personal conversations, however, it is more of a spin-off of the Instagram messages or comment section and is quite different from the Twitter ecosystem. According to Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri, Threads is not intended to replace Twitter, but rather to establish a “public square” for Instagram who don’t use Twitter.
The Threads and Twitter competition can vary in terms of friendliness, as it largely depends on the individuals participating and the context of the interactions. It ultimately comes down to how users choose to engage.
This is not Threads’ first try; in fact, it is the second. Some users may recall the app of the same name, which debuted around the end of 2019. It was a stand-alone app available only for Android and iOS platforms. This software, like Snapchat, allows users to interact through messages and video chats. Instagram, however, terminated the app in December 2021.
Threads is available as iOS and Android mobile applications. Download from the App Store and Play Store, respectively. The online front end must allow mobile web users to see profiles and posts. Below are some of the core features and functionality of the Threads App:
● Users will be able to access Threads using their Instagram usernames and verifications, but they will be able to personalise their Threads profile separately from their Instagram account.
● Threads posts will support 500 characters of text and links, up to 10 photos and videos up to 5 minutes in length at a time
● Posts are compatible with screen reader support
● Images come with the facility of AI-generated descriptions
● Auto-Status can automatically update statuses based on your location, movement, and other context.
● You may use hidden words, just like on Instagram, to filter out comments to your threads that include specified terms.
● Threads posts will be sharable on Instagram stories directly. On other platforms, it is sharable as links
● Accounts that you have prohibited on Instagram will also be blacklisted on Threads.
Meta has committed to making Threads compatible with ActivityPub, the open social networking protocol developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the organisation in charge of the open standards that fuel the contemporary web. Threads will be able to communicate with other apps that implement the ActivityPub protocol, such as Mastodon and WordPress, allowing for new types of connections that are now inaccessible on most social apps.
Threads have an age limit of 16 and 18 in some countries. All you need is an Instagram account. There is no actual “process” for joining Threads. Just download the app and open it with a single tap. Your whole Instagram bio and followers will be automatically imported.
Note: According to the company’s support materials, you cannot remove your Threads account without also deleting your Instagram account, demonstrating how closely the two are linked.
How Is Instagram Threads Different From Twitter
According to Adam Mosseri, Threads is aimed to serve the Instagram community with a less hostile environment for personal and public interactions, ideally “a less angry” space. That’s perhaps the biggest difference that it makes. The fact that Twitter is largely prone to negativity and contentious exchanges, so it can make a big difference if Threads could foster positive and engaging discussions. The table below demonstrates a layout of the key differences between Twitter and Thread.
Differences Between Twitter and Thread
|Account Login Access||Multiple Options include username and password, email, phone, Google account, and Apple account||Instagram account|
|Posts Character Limit||280 (for free account users)||500 for all|
|Video Limit||2 minutes, 20 seconds||5minutes|
|Image Limit||4 images||10 images|
|Nature of Communication||A sequence of postings with extensive and linked communication.||Messages that are concise in a single tweet.|
The Twitter interface has a sophisticated search function that allows users to explore tweets and trending topics and engage in mindless browsing, where you see random posts and react to them. Threads is going to control the spreading of content by allowing users to only search for people that they follow.
In reaction to Threads’ sudden ascent, Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino remarked that Twitter is unique as a community-driven network that is backed by people and is “irreplaceable.” She mentioned how other app developers have attempted to mimic the platform, but Twitter cannot be “duplicated.”
But here’s the thing: using Threads doesn’t feel like using Twitter, and the fact that it fully capitalises on the Instagram userbase provides this new platform with a competitive advantage over other applications like Blusky, Discord, ClubHouse, and even LinkedIn.
Approach: Threads simply allow you to look for people to follow. In addition, unlike Instagram, you cannot submit posts directly to other users using Threads. Yet, this is only the start of the app’s journey, and it will most certainly grow over time.
Insta-Users: Instead of starting from scratch, Instagram is presenting Threads for its existing 2.35 billion users. This provides the app with additional authority and a competitive advantage over other Twitter competitors.
Insta-Integrated: After downloading the new app, existing Instagram users have the option of importing standard set-up functions, including their bio, username, profile photo, and follow list. Simply ‘Log in with Instagram’, and hit the ‘Import from Instagram’ button to get started.
Userbase: Threads surfaced with users like the Dalai Lama, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Oprah Winfrey, followed by a long list of businesses like Netflix, Amazon, and Coca-Cola. No other Twitter-competing app developer could match that!
Threads is dealing with market issues that early Twitter did not have to deal with. Increasing data privacy worries halted the app’s rollout in the European Union and are already making news in the United States.
The app’s financial security is also in doubt. While the IT sector as a whole slows, Meta has laid off tens of thousands of employees, while Zuckerberg, in particular, continues to invest billions in his virtual reality enterprise, the Metaverse.
The journey for Threads is much different from that of Twitter, and in the near future, there is no way that the former could practically replace the latter. Now, the rest, only time will tell.