It may seem like there’s a never ending carousel when it comes to new social media platforms, but it certainly takes something special to prevail and stay the course. MySpace almost made it, but then along came the more innovative Facebook (now known as Meta) with a cleaner interface. Google+ forced its platform to grow too quickly for what it could handle, and instead it quickly met its demise. Now we have Threads, which is Meta’s version of the once behemoth Twitter (now known as X) that is focused on being more inclusive and friendlier. But what is Threads really all about? Let’s find out!
How Did Threads Get Its Start?
To know the whole story, we need to go back to October of 2022, when Elon Musk purchased the Twitter platform. Shortly thereafter, it was as if not a day could go by without some sort of turbulence, including changing the name to X. The powers that be at Meta (basically Mark Zuckerburg and the team at Instagram) decided they wanted to find a way to provide a platform that had the aesthetics and positivity of Instagram with the instantaneous conversational characteristics of X. In July of 2023, Threads was born with 30 million users after only 24 hours of being active. As of February 2024, it has 130 million active monthly users.
But why was it called Threads? This is actually a simple answer that is based in social media and the reason Threads was created – conversation. The term threads in social media means a series of comments or replies to a particular post, or a sequential series of posts on a particular subject, all resulting in conversation.
Threads vs X – How Do They Differ?
While both X and Threads offer a platform to converse, there are many ways in which they are different.
- X has been around for over 17 years, while Threads hasn’t yet reached a full year.
- Threads offers a longer character post of 500, while X is still at 280, offering more opportunity for conversation or “threads”.
- On X, a user can send direct messages to other users in order to take a conversation private, but that does not exist on Threads.
- On Threads, a user can post a video up to 5 minutes long, while X only accepts up to 140 seconds.
- In order to have a Threads account, a user must also have an Instagram account, but with X being an independent platform, no other accounts are needed, and also due to this, a user must use their same name on Threads and Instagram.
Many changes have occurred on Threads since its rollout, making it much more competitive with X. While the two platforms will never truly mirror each other, they each have their pros and cons that should appeal to their particular clientele.
Is the Downfall of X Contributing to the Rise of Threads?
There are those who would say X is doing well enough on its own when it comes to its potential demise, but when considering the user base of Meta, of course Threads has become the beneficiary. Understanding the intentions behind the creation of Threads, it’s easy to see that the desire already existed for a more positive online experience. And the fact that conversation was the preferred result, Threads has done well maintaining a balance of intention and innovation, and though its growth did stall shortly after it began, it is currently considered the best alternative to X.
What Does the Future Hold for Threads and its Users?
While we don’t have a crystal ball in order to tell the future, what we can say is that Threads isn’t going anywhere. Though it hasn’t yet taken over X, it has shown steady growth and plans continue to evolve functionality. Some say that both X and Threads, being microblogging apps, will lose many users in 2024 as they move to the video platform TikTok for news and entertainment. The question is whether or not Threads can evolve enough to cause a disruption and entice its users to stay connected.
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