Social media is always changing. New tools are introduced and platforms that were once popular often fade quickly into obscurity. But right now, social media is having a particularly turbulent moment. With the launch of Threads to challenge Twitter or should I say, X? Since its start in 2006 Twitter has been a reigning platform but are its days numbered?
Twitter’s Rebrand to X
Twitter has now changed its name to X… as in SpaceX. If the many changes Elon Musk has made to the platform since taking over last year weren’t enough, this rebrand seems to be the nail in the coffin for many users. TechCrunch even shared information on how to change the logo back to the blue bird on your phone.
Since his takeover, Musk’s leadership has cost the platform millions of users. Some predict the number could even amount to 32 million. There are many reasons for this mass exodus. Security is an issue for some. It’s been reported the company’s trust and safety team saw their systems crashing “at least once a day”. And since the changes made to the blue tick, many more fake accounts have been made.
Alongside this, Musk is promoting the platform’s supposed free speech agenda. Kanye West, formerly banned from the platform for violating their rules “against incitement to violence”, has been reinstated. The company has also now decided to sue a hate speech watchdog group.
This rebrand comes only shortly after Linda Yaccarino was instated as the new CEO, presumably meant to fix the mess Musk had made in the six or so months prior. One of the first things she did in the job was get the company to start paying their Google Cloud bills that Musk had been holding ransom. Still however, their ship is in choppy waters.
Is Threads The New Twitter?
The new Twitter rival only launched a month ago but has already lost over half of its users. The app beat ChatGPT’s record by reaching 100 million users in just five days. But that initial success was not to last.
Amid the recent tumult at Twitter, you’d expect this would be prime time for a rival to launch an attack. Despite this fertile ground, users of the new app aren’t happy. Many found they couldn’t delete their new Threads account without deleting their much loved Instagram accounts. The company hopes an injection of new AI chatbots could regain some of their losses.
But what are the real differences between Threads and Twitter? Well, for a start Threads forgoes the 280 character limit so central to Twitter’s format. Seen as restrictive to some, this may actually be an important ingredient of the platform, cutting out unnecessarily rambling and appealing to our diminishing attention spans.
Threads, as the name suggests, allows users to thread together their threads! This means no more tweets with ‘(1/2)’ at the end. Along with ditching the character limit, these changes seem to indicate that Threads wants to allow for more long form content. They may be onto something too, as we’re seeing Youtube videos and podcasts stretching into 2 hour long chunks of time, why would this change not also occur on text based platforms?
X and Threads are fighting a tough battle, X to survive, Threads to take over. If we’re honest though, neither are looking like particularly strong contenders. Both have huge numbers of users quitting their platform along with branding and technical issues. Do you think either one will come out on top or is this social media format simply past its prime?