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October 25, 2023
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Threads vs. Twitter (X): The key differences & similarities

Threads vs.Twitter(X) rivalry gives rise to a few critical questions. Let's get it answered. This article discusses the major differences and similarities between Threads and Twitter (X), and what is the current scenario concerning the same.

Arzu Özkan-  Digital Marketing Manager
Arzu Özkan
Head of Marketing

On July 5, 2023, Meta Platforms launched yet another social networking app, Threads, which aimed to directly compete with Twitter (now known as X). The idea here was to channel the popularity of Instagram (of 1.4 billion users) and link it to a space where users can now share short-form content. In 5 days to be exact, the platform a massed 100 million users globally and surpassed the impressive record previously set by ChatGPT. The interesting fact is that Twitter, on the other hand, had taken 5.4 years to achieve this accomplishment. But does that mean Threads triumphed over its rival Twitter? Or is it the other way around with regard to the news of Twitter threatening to sue Meta for launching Threads? And is Threads the exact replica of Twitter? This rivalry gives riseto a few crucial questions. Well, let's get it answered. This article discusses the major differences and similarities between Threads and Twitter (X), and what is the current scenario concerning the same.

Understanding Threads and Twitter (X)

Before we go into the differences let us see what exactly Threads and Twitter are. Well, yes, the majority of us will have a clear idea of the two, yet a part of the population will be still new to the idea of Threads. So, let us recap Threads and Twitter for you. 

Threads: Threads is an online social networking service operated by the ubiquitous Meta Platform. The app mainly allows users to post short-form content in the form of images, videos, posts, reposts, and replies. 

Twitter (now known as X): Twitter/X is an online social networking platform where people interact via short messages called Tweets. The platform does not support long-form content. Your post on X is not allowed to exceed 280 characters if you're not a Twitter Blue user.

Threads vs Twitter (X) : 8 Differences & Similarities to Know

Now, that we have understood what each Threads and Twitter (X) deal with, let's get into the differences and similarities between the two platforms.

1. Availability

Twitter was presented as a website in its initial years. In the later years Twitter, underwent modifications to include an app-based version to be compatible with iOS and Android smartphones. However, Twitter (X) maintained its website version. By doing so, Twitter give sits users the flexibility to access the platform as per their preference be itvia the web or in-app version. 

Whereas Threads is currently available as an app version only. Users can download it as an iOS and Android app. Therefore, unlike Twitter/X, Threads offers a mobile experience only.

threads vs twitter

2. Content

Both Twitter and Threads let you share various kinds of content like images, videos, GIFs, and links in your posts. Yet there are differences on both platforms when it comes to content aswell. 

As mentioned earlier, Twittera llows you to share a post of 280 characters and not more if you're not a Twitter Blue user. However, if you area Blue subscriber on Twitter, you can tweet up to 25,000 characters. Threads on the other hand lets you share a text post that contains up to 500 characters. 

While Threads lets you add up to 10 items to your post, just like Instagram, Twitter allows only a total of 4 additional items to your post.

Also, since Twitter is a text-first platform there's little scope to be creative. However, Threads is more flexible in that aspect.

3. User Interface

Threads and Twitter have a similar interface. Users can share their thoughts via a text box. The process of tagging, commenting, reacting, and resharing posts is also similar on both the platforms. 

However, Twitter mainly depends on hashtags to make the posts reach the relevant audience and help increase an account's popularity. Whereas in Threads, this is still a work in progress. As of now, the virality of a post relies on the number of reactions it receives.

threads vs twitter

4. Direct Messaging

Twitter not only lets you tweet posts but also has a one-on-one chat with users. You can share text messages, links, images, GIFs, and emojis through Twitter's message box.

However, Threads does not give its users this provision to send a direct message yet. Meta offers the direct messaging feature in other child platforms like Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. On the brighter side, this doesn't really hinder the user experience as they can always send a DM to their connections in Threads via Instagram. 

5. Feed

Twitter gives you the ability to customize the content you want to see in your Twitter feed. If you want to see something other than the content of the accounts you follow, you can always select the option "For You" to see a mix of relevant content and posts that suit your preference.

Threads, presently, offers limited customizations and is very much basic. You can only see posts of accounts that you follow. Threads do not give you the provision to customize your feed as per your preference, unlike Twitter. At the most, the platform lets you mute words or people to help reduce the clutter of your feed. 

6. Verification

While scrolling through Threads, you may come across certain accounts with a blue tick. As you may already know, the blue tick means that the user is verified. The users verified on Instagram will be verified on Threads as well. This provision is carried over from Instagram, the users need not apply for verification separately for Threads. So, if you wish to be verified on Threads, you can check Instagram's guidelines to see if you are qualified.

Twitter, on the other hand, has a rather complicated verification process. However, it had a similar verification process as Instagram (as per your public standing) until Elon Musk took over the platform. You can also buy a verification badge through a Twitter Blue subscription. Government accounts, however, get a grey tick while a few established organizations and news outlets will get a gold tick.  

7. Pricing

As of now, Threads is completely free for you to download and use. There are no hidden features that will incur extra charges. You will also not come across any ads on Threads. However, there is a possibility of ads being introduced in the near future considering the fact that Instagram is rather ad-heavy.

Twitter has ads and a good number of hidden features behind a paywall. These features can be accessed by the members of the "Twitter Blue" subscription plan.

8. Use Cases

Twitter serves a multitude of use cases like news updates, announcements, link sharing, and text and image posts. However, Threads serve limited use cases where posts are detailed like personal stories, in-depth discussions, and tutorials.

Threads vs. Twitter (X): Who wins the ultimate battle? 

threads vs twitter

While Twitter has been largely criticized for its lack of censorship for certain accounts and topics, Threads has been criticized for not bringing anything new or original to the table. The privacy and security guidelines have also been questioned. Looks like both rivals are equally matched?

But, here's the catch.

The launch of Threads has not made a significant impact on Twitter's usage. Though Threads a massed a huge number of users in the initial weeks (100 million), it saw an 80% drop in daily users within a few weeks. So, Twitter (X) leads the race until Threads launches some compelling features to dominate this rivalry. 

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