08 Dec 2023

Threads vs. X: What You Need to Know 

Has Threads replaced Twitter? Or, in the interest of accuracy, X (we’re rolling our eyes, if you couldn’t tell), when it comes to its potential lifespan as a viable social media channel? 

Meta’s answer to X (formerly Twitter) is Threads, a relatively new app with a largely stagnant active user base since August. Even though it hasn’t kept up with the level of popularity that its initial launch seemed to predict, that doesn’t mean Meta has stopped their campaign for success. 

Scrolling through Instagram is likely to mean receiving at least one notification encouraging you to check out Threads, showing you profiles of celebrities and brands that you probably already interact with on X. 

You’re not alone if that hasn’t been enough to pique your curiosity. But now that it’s been a few months, let’s take a look at how Threads has changed recently and what could be in store for both apps in the future. 

The best place to start here might just be a list of quick observations of Threads’ functionality and user experience: 

Search function isn’t anything to write home about – in fact, it’s kind of bare bones. 

There’s no DM feature, which almost feels laughable in this day and age. If you can message people on Words With Friends, why can’t you do it on Meta’s answer to one of the most prominent social media apps in the modern digital marketing landscape? 

Some users have also reported that it’s difficult to track more advanced engagement data, and only really having access to more baseline statistics like post likes and comments.

While initially Threads was linked to your Instagram account (meaning deleting one inherently dumped the other as well), Meta recently announced they were scrapping  this policy. The fact that they are making this move tells us that enough people wanted to close their accounts that Meta was worried about Instagram losing its credibility along with Threads, a ship that might have one too many holes. 

One reason that Threads may not pack quite the same punch as X does is because it has explicitly stated that it isn’t aiming to be a news source, but more of a place to scroll. 

While Threads branding itself as “friendlier” than X probably isn’t inaccurate, it also isn’t exactly a selling point. The fact of the matter is that there are lots of serious issues going on in our world right now, and the way that X has managed to distill headlines on extremely prevalent current events of the past few years like the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, the 2020 election, and more is undeniably appealing to a society that craves information in bite-sized pieces. 

So, while Threads may not be the “Twitter Killer” some initially made it out to be, we’re not saying you shouldn’t jump ship if the timing feels right for you. In our recent newsletter (which you can sign up for here, by the way) we highlighted an article from The New York Times on the astronomically high revenue loss X has already suffered as advertisers and users continue to pull out after Elon Musk’s endorsement of an antiseptic conspiracy theory. 

If that’s just one step over the line for you, we get it. We don’t necessarily disagree, either. It might be time to evaluate where we’re putting our ad dollars, or it might be time to ride out the storm and hope that the platform we’ve all gotten comfortable with can make it out on the other end stronger than before. 

At the end of the day, where you choose to advertise and promote your business is entirely your own choice. And in situations like this, the waters can feel pretty murky. 

If you’d like guidance on this, or anything else advertising-related, contact us today


I’m Sophie Mann, and I work at encite branding + marketing + creative as Vice President of Strategy. My job entails a continuous study of business, marketing, data and culture, all in the name of driving strategy forward. I’m passionate about helping brands resonate more strongly with their consumers and communicate with their ideal clients. I’m also a proud graduate of the University of Kansas - Rock Chalk!

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