What Is Instagram Threads and Why It Is the Twitter Killer

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It is now Twitter vs Threads. Discover the rise of Instagram Threads as a competitor to Twitter and explore their key differences.

Threads has taken the world by storm and has the potential to be the next big thing
Threads has taken the world by storm and has the potential to be the next big thing

One platform has recently emerged as a potential game-changer: Instagram Threads. Since its debut, this innovative app has skyrocketed to unprecedented popularity, amassing a staggering 100 million users in a mere five days, making it the fastest growing app ever. The magnitude of its success speaks volumes about the usability of the new social media app.

With Threads, Instagram introduces a fresh and distinctive space tailored for real-time updates and public conversations, rivaling the allure of Twitter’s fast-paced environment. The simplicity of joining this new realm is unparalleled: a seamless integration with your existing Instagram account allows you to effortlessly access Threads.

Once inside, a world of possibilities awaits as you express yourself through posts of up to 500 characters, accompanied by links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes long.

Threads vs Twitter

Twitter and Threads have several notable differences

When it comes to their primary purpose, Twitter and Threads share a common goal: enabling users to share short messages that others can view and engage with. However, it differs it certain key categories:

Character Limit

Threads allows you a generous 500-character limit for your messages, while Twitter confines you to a more concise 280 characters. This means that Threads empowers you to share longer and more elaborate posts compared to the brevity required on Twitter. Nevertheless, for those who have mastered the art of crafting concise and impactful messages on Twitter, this discrepancy may not pose a significant hurdle.

Content Discovery

Twitter provides users with extensive control over their post feed, allowing for meticulous curation. You can choose to view a personalized “For you” feed that combines suggested posts with content from accounts you follow. Alternatively, you can opt for a “Following” feed that exclusively displays posts from the accounts you follow.

In contrast, Threads offers a singular feed that amalgamates content from the accounts you follow, alongside trending posts. This arrangement resembles a fusion of Instagram’s main feed and Discover page. Unlike Twitter, controlling the content you see on Threads is limited to blocking accounts and muting specific words.

When it comes to search functionality, Twitter allows users to search for specific words or phrases, providing access to recent and relevant publicly-available posts. On the other hand, Threads currently only enables users to search for accounts, making it less of a destination for news or trending topics.

Direct Messaging

Twitter incorporates an in-app messaging system, whereas Threads currently lacks this functionality.

Twitter’s messaging platform enables users to communicate with mutual connections or any user, depending on individual privacy settings. Within the messaging interface, users can exchange text messages, share images, GIFs, and even send voice messages. Additionally, Twitter’s messaging feature facilitates the simple act of sharing tweets with other users.

In contrast, Threads currently does not offer an in-app messaging option. While it is possible to share a Thread with someone via text message, the platform lacks an integrated messaging feature beyond tagging users in the comment section of a post. For direct communication with a Threads user, the recommended approach is to utilize Instagram’s Direct Messages (DMs) instead.

Some users may consider this to be a blessing in disguise. It acts as a safeguard against unsolicited messages, potential harassment, and the influx of malicious content, offering a more controlled and focused environment for sharing and engaging with content.

Rate Limit

Twitter recently introduced rate limits in response to concerns regarding excessive data scraping and system manipulation on the platform. Initially described as temporary measures, these limits were put in place to address the issue.

Under these restrictions, Verified accounts, typically associated with Twitter Blue subscriptions, were capped at a maximum of 10,000 posts per day, while other accounts were limited to either 1000 or 500 posts, depending on their account age.

On the other hand, Threads has not announced any rate limits thus far. While Twitter has taken steps to regulate the volume of content users can post within a specific timeframe, Threads has not implemented similar restrictions as of now and users can enjoy free, unlimited content on their feed.

Anonymity and Accountability

One notable difference between Threads and Twitter lies in the level of anonymity and accountability within each platform.

Threads requires users to link their Instagram accounts to their Threads accounts, typically utilizing their personal or business profiles for registration. Threads thus offers less anonymity compared to Twitter, where anyone can create an account without the need for personal identification. This distinction plays a significant role in mitigating potential misuse and malicious activities commonly associated with anonymous accounts.

Twitter, on the other hand, has faced ongoing challenges with bots that roam the platform, often replying with phishing links that can harm users, as can be observed in the blockchain/web3 section of Twitter. The lack of accountability stemming from anonymous accounts has been a longstanding issue on Twitter. However, Threads helps address this problem by reducing the prominence of anonymity, thereby fostering a more accountable environment.

The reduced anonymity on Threads implies that individuals are more likely to be held accountable for their actions and comments. In contrast, Twitter’s relatively open platform allows for harassment and online abuse without immediate consequences, especially in light of their recent “free speech” guidelines. Consequently, users seeking a more relaxed and friendly atmosphere are likely to gravitate towards Threads, where accountability is encouraged.

Impact on Twitter and Future Potential

Twitter Traffic Ranking Chart
Twitter Traffic Ranking Chart

The launch of Threads has had a noticeable impact on Twitter, resulting in a significant decrease in traffic by approximately 11%. This hints of potential threat Threads poses to Twitter’s user engagement and market position, which may give Elon Musk a real headache.

While Threads has already made a substantial impact, it still has untapped growth potential. The app has yet to launch in Europe, where Instagram’s Head, Adam Mosseri, cited regulatory complexities that need to be navigated. Once Threads expands into this market, it has the opportunity to further solidify its position as a genuine competitor to Twitter.

Twitter, with nearly 238 million monetizable daily active users, reported in its previous quarterly earnings report, remains a dominant player in the social media landscape. However, Threads’ ability to retain its user base could lead to a more intense competition between the two platforms.

Interestingly, Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, has already shown concern about Threads. In a letter from his longtime lawyer, Alex Spiro, addressed to Meta (the parent company of Instagram), accusations of “unlawful misappropriation” of trade secrets were made against Threads. This highlights the growing tension and rivalry between the two platforms. Musk has also insinuated that he is threatening to sue Meta over its new threads platform.

Furthermore, Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, engaged in a public exchange of jabs over the weekend. Zuckerberg mocked Musk’s tweet style, while Musk responded by using a derogatory name to refer to Zuckerberg.

Final Thoughts

It remains to be seen whether Threads can truly replace Twitter. As much as we want to see an all out war between Twitter vs Threads, the choice between the use of each platform ultimately comes down to personal preferences and objectives. Whether it’s the concise and fast-paced nature of Twitter or the immersive and authentic experience of Threads, users can find a platform that aligns with their communication style and desired level of engagement.

Quoting Meta’s vision for Threads, they stated, “In addition to working toward making Threads compatible with the ActivityPub protocol, soon we’ll be adding a number of new features to help you continue to discover threads and creators you’re interested in, including improved recommendations in feed and a more robust search function that makes it easier to follow topics and trends in real time.”

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