Threads vs X (Formerly Twitter): All Features Compared.
This is going to be an interesting one!
Threads vs X (formerly Twitter) is the new hot topic at hand, and this blog discusses it all. We won’t only be comparing the features of both social media apps, but we’ll also run you down the entire story of X’s existence and the famous rivalry of the year: Elon Musk vs Mark Zuckerberg.
Yes, we’ll also discuss the cage fight of Musk vs Zuckerberg briefly, for all the nerds out there!
But first, let’s see how this shebang came into existence in the first place. How Twitter became X (and why ‘X’) and how Zuckerberg didn’t waste a second and created Threads, an X competitor.
Threads & X: A Brief History
We already know that Threads was just a competitive outcome of X. Also, the entire hatred that Elon Musk had towards Twitter’s restrictive policies resulted in the blowing up of Twitter with massive layoffs (including the CEO) and a complete rebranding to X.
Let’s get started with X and see what led up to its existence.
How X Came To Be
In 2022, Elon Musk, known for Tesla and SpaceX, acquired Twitter for $44 billion, aiming to boost free speech. Some saw it as Musk pushing his agenda, while he insisted on making Twitter better for all.
By April 2023, Musk’s takeover was complete.
He immediately made changes, like axing top executives and relaxing content rules. Come June 2023, Musk rebranded Twitter as X, signifying broader plans, including payments and banking.
Reactions were mixed: some lauded the free speech move, while others criticized the toxic environment. Musk’s Twitter takeover and renaming it X are pivotal moments in tech, leaving an uncertain impact on the future.
And What’s The Story Behind Threads?
In October 2019, Instagram Threads debuted as a camera-first messaging app by Meta Platforms. Users could share updates and chat with close friends. Sadly, low usage led to its December 2021 discontinuation.
Come January 2023, Meta initiated, what was internally codenamed, “Project 92” – a new text-centric app.
Fast forward to July 5, 2023, and “Threads” was born, poised as a Twitter rival. It offered text posts, links, photos, videos, polls, threads, and replies.
Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for Threads was all about fostering genuine, authentic interactions in the social media landscape. It aimed to be a platform where people could engage in more meaningful conversations with loved ones.
While it’s still early days for Threads, Zuckerberg’s determination to challenge Twitter is evident, making Threads a significant contender in this social media showdown.
How Do Threads & X Compare?
In this section, we have compared both social media apps based on user interface, features, content discoverability, cost of use, and most importantly, privacy. These five-pointers will give you a good idea of how both apps operate and compare with each other.
We have used and abused these apps to gather as much data about their usability as we can and have come up with these five pointers that we believe will cover the apps completely. We have also declared a winner at the end of each comparing pointer and have declared a final winner at the end as well.
We don’t like open-ended conversations, so declaring a winner is a must, similar to our detailed comparison of Spotify and Apple Music.
So let’s get the Threads vs X battle started!
User Interface: both apps are unique
On Instagram Threads, creators can post, share, and react to content using a simple text box. It emphasizes engagement over hashtags or other strategies to boost visibility.
Twitter (X), on the other hand, also relies on text-based posts using a text box but places more emphasis on using hashtags to increase a post’s reach.
When you compare Instagram Threads and X, you’ll notice that both are centered around text-based posts. Unlike platforms like Instagram Reels, TikTok, or YouTube Shorts, which focus on videos, Threads, and X keep it simple with text.
Even the way you tag friends and share content is quite similar on both Threads and X. So, switching between the two platforms isn’t too challenging for users.
The feature-packed Twitter (X) & the emerging Threads
As Twitter has been in the business for a long time and has taken public criticism so much it has improved feature-wise, drastically. Although there have been major changes in the policies of Twitter which has resulted in the complete brand change to X, however, X still pleases its audience with all the features they need.
While the Twitter vs. Instagram battle rages on, the younger contender, backed by Meta, hints at big updates in the pipeline. Mark Zuckerberg and Threads CEO Adam Mosseri have both teased upcoming features, suggesting that X’s current lead might not last.
Threads, with its straightforward approach, manages to captivate users, turning simplicity into a strength. It offers a clean and uncluttered space for engagement. As new features roll out, the challenge will be maintaining this balance of simplicity and functionality.
Threads’ rapid ascent signals a shift in social media preferences, reflecting a thirst for fresh experiences. It’s not just about Threads’ appeal; it also hints at dissatisfaction with established platforms. Threads’ agility and user-centric design show how new platforms can quickly resonate with evolving needs.
In a transforming digital landscape, the new Instagram app sets the standard, proving that innovation, authenticity, and user engagement can bring swift success in the competitive world of social media.
Where can you find relevant content easily?
When it comes to finding fresh content on social media, it’s a crucial feature. In this department, X takes the lead with its user-friendly approach to discovering trending discussions and exploring hashtags to dive into the latest topics.
What’s neat is that if you stumble upon something you adore, you can simply ‘like’ it and keep track of your favorites for later. Your feed on X offers flexibility; it can exclusively feature content from users you follow or mix in some recommended posts to keep things interesting.
Now, the new Meta app, on the other hand, defaults to an algorithmically-generated timeline, but it also lets you curate a list of people you follow. It’s important to note that Threads might revert to its default setting, so you need to be aware of which list you’re browsing.
Unlike X, which provides a variety of search options, like searching by phrase, hashtag, account, and more, the new Instagram app’s search tool only allows you to find users by their name.
So, in terms of content discoverability, X offers a richer experience with trending topics, hashtag exploration, and advanced searches, all while giving you control over your feed’s content sources and letting you revisit your favorite posts.
In contrast, the new Meta app, formerly known as Threads, offers a simpler approach with fewer search options and a primarily algorithm-driven timeline.
What’s the cost of using these apps?
When it comes to content discoverability, the new Instagram app offers a more user-friendly experience compared to X. You see, both apps are free to download and use, allowing you to interact with others at no cost.
But there’s a catch with X. They tempt you with additional features but require you to pay for a premium membership to unlock them. Threads, on the other hand, keep it simple and entirely free.
Now, the biggest difference comes in the form of ads. Threads is blissfully ad-free, giving you an uninterrupted experience while you explore content. In contrast, X introduces ads into the mix. They might be a bit of an annoyance for free users, and the only way to minimize them is through a paid subscription.
But even then, you won’t get rid of them completely, just see them less often.
So, if you’re all about content discoverability without disruptions, Threads might be the way to go.
Privacy: Both X & Threads have a long way to go
Mark Zuckerberg already has a bad reputation for interfering with privacy laws. He’s been summoned by the US Congress and talked with them multiple times regarding this. But X is no privacy saint either. However, comparatively, it still enjoys lesser privacy-related criticisms than any of Meta’s apps.
Privacy is a big deal in today’s digital world, and both Threads and X have some big challenges ahead.
Meta’s recent privacy troubles cast a shadow over Threads, making it crucial for the platform to prove it can handle user data responsibly and be open about it. X, on the other hand, has its own set of issues. It needs to regain trust after some important security folks left their positions. Both of these platforms have some privacy hurdles to clear.
Although X is better at this than Meta, privacy concerns are the most important technical concern anybody can have. And we don’t think any of the current social media apps can be declared a ‘winner’ in this space. So this is also a tie.
Bonus Point: Which Community Is More Toxic?
Now here starts the controversy.
After President Donald Trump’s infamous removal from Twitter during the 2020 elections, Twitter earned a bad name for being left-leaning and biased. Elon Musk’s reinstating Trump was a statement that he’d put out, subtly directing which side he’s on. But what’s the stance of X now?
There is no doubt that Meta is left-leaning as Mark Zuckerberg mentioned himself during one of his US Congressional meetings. So where does Threads stand amidst the policy reforms Zuckerberg talked of bringing?
The situation on X and Threads paints a clear contrast.
X, by getting rid of content moderators, has created a more negative environment, while Threads is currently basking in a phase of friendly interactions. X struggles with unruly user behavior, tainting the platform, while Threads is a breath of fresh air with its overwhelmingly positive atmosphere.
Now when we say that X removing the content moderators is a negative, we mean in regards to how the public opinion on it is. In actuality, Twitter only removed the outsourced content moderators and made everything based on the algorithms and in-house content moderators. Twitter later even claimed that their content moderation is working more efficiently now.
Dealing with online toxicity is a tricky issue.
X’s choice to ditch content moderators has not only drawn criticism for fostering a hostile atmosphere but also for not ensuring a safe space for users. Threads, being relatively new, hasn’t encountered these problems yet.
However, the platform is taking notes from X’s missteps, aiming to build a more respectful community.
Wrap Up: Who’s The Winner?
If we look at the overall score, X takes the lead as it wins 2/3 points that we’ve looked at. X wins in being feature-packed and discovering content easily, while Threads could only win in cost of use, as it is absolutely free to use.
Also, the bonus tip cannot be considered as Threads is fairly new so the community isn’t completely built. If we were to assume that it’ll be the same as Instagram’s community, then we can take Zuckerberg’s word for it and make another assumption that it will be ‘left-leaning’, which makes it just as controversial as X.
So overall, X would trump Threads (pun intended) in this battle. To read a similar comparison guide we’ve created between Apple Music and Spotify, check out the ‘people also read’ section below.
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