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July 25, 2023

Is Meta's New Platform Threads a Threat to X?

Exploring the reasons for why or why not

In this article, we ask, "Is Meta's new platform Threads a threat to X? Why or why not?" With insightful responses from founders and content creators, we discuss Threads' rapid growth and unique features, debating its novelty vs. X's established base. We asked industry professionals to provide a comprehensive analysis of the potential threat posed by Threads to X.

Since its inception earlier this month, Threads stated itself to be the “positive” alternative to its bigger rival. For its part, X has threatened to sue Meta for intellectual copyright infringements. In a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, a lawyer for X said the company “has serious concerns that Meta Platforms (Meta) has engaged in systematic, willful and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property”.

Threads garnered 30M signups in under 24 hours after launching, making it the fastest-downloaded app in history, a number which increased set another record 5 days later. We will all need to see what the future holds for either platform, and if Threads offers a serious threat to X, and if the latter’s name change will help turn around its fortunes.

Threads' rapid growth and unique features

Meta's Threads could pose a threat to X due to its rapid growth. Threads provides a more positive version of X with its text-sharing app, which has already reached 100 million sign-ups in just five days after its launch.

As a result of its success, X's status as the public commons of the internet could be threatened. However, Threads does not offer some of X's features, such as direct messaging and trending topics. While Threads' success may raise antitrust concerns, its connection to Instagram and focus on positivity provide a unique alternative to X.

Only time will tell whether Threads has the potential to surpass X's dominance in the social media space.

Samuel Fletcher, Co-Founder, SupplyGem

A threat leveraging Meta's user base

Meta's new platform, Threads, does pose a substantial threat to X, and it primarily comes down to the sheer size of Meta's established user base.

With Instagram boasting around 2 billion global active users, Meta already has an incredibly vast pool of potential users for their new service. Even if only a small percentage of these Instagram users were to adopt Threads, the platform could easily surpass X's active user base, which hovers around 250 million.

Tom McCarron, Co-Founder, Algebra Digital

A strategic gamble by Meta

Meta's Threads initiative is a strategic gamble with low risk and high potential rewards. Meta aims to diminish X's market share and attract X's audience. If successful, even marginally, Meta could profit from a new product that generates hundreds of millions in revenue. However, the future of Threads is still uncertain. ABC reported a 50% drop in user engagement in Threads' second week, despite the initial excitement and a user base of a hundred million.

The initial hype for Threads appeared to be driven by media coverage and celebrity endorsements, particularly from those opposed to Elon Musk's recent acquisition of X. It's still an open question whether Threads will maintain its momentum or go down the same path as platforms like Google+.

Tyler Holliday, Founder, NFTCommunity

Platforms catering to different needs

Meta's platform, Threads, and X cater to different user needs and have distinct features. While both platforms enable users to share content and engage with others, Threads focuses on private group conversations, whereas X emphasizes public, real-time updates.

Whether Threads poses a threat to X depends on several factors, such as user adoption, platform capabilities, and market dynamics. It would require a thorough analysis of the platforms' user base, engagement metrics, and overall market trends to assess the impact.

However, it's worth noting that competition within the social media landscape is common, with platforms constantly evolving and introducing new features to stay relevant. Ultimately, user preferences and the ability of platforms to adapt to changing needs will shape their success and competitiveness.

Lukasz Zelezny, SEO Consultant, SEO Consultant London

Not a Threat to X

The truth, in short, is that Threads is not a threat to X. Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri, himself clarified that Meta has no intentions of replacing X with Threads. Threads is an alternative platform for online discussion.

Both Threads and X have different features and purposes. Threads provide a more organized and focused space for longer-form discussions. It’s important to keep in mind that X has a well-established user base and remains one of the most popular social media platforms for real-time updates, news sharing, and public conversations.

The fun fact is, it’s not the first app by Meta to use the name Threads. In 2019, Facebook (now Meta) launched Threads, which was a standalone messaging app designed for Instagram. It couldn’t get the initial boost. Because of its unpopularity, Facebook decided to discontinue it, and now when it has launched again with a slightly different format, neither did Threads aim to replace any other app at that time nor now.

Aryan Chauhan, SEO Trainee, UpInFifty

Threads' novelty v. X's established base

At first glance, you might say Meta's Threads might pose a threat to X, with its streamlined approach and focus on threading conversations—it's certainly a fresh spin on social networking.

However, X has been around for a long time, and it has a loyal user base, not to mention the well-established real-time news and commentary it's known for. While Threads might snag some newer, more tech-savvy users looking for a novel experience, it's hard to imagine it entirely overshadowing X.

Each platform has its unique strengths and will likely carve out its own niche. So, I wouldn't say it's a direct threat, but definitely, another player to watch in the social media game.

Lou Reverchuk, Co-Founder and CEO, EchoGlobal

Conclusion

While it has the potential, the general view seems to be that Meta's new platform, Threads, may not be the death knell for X some thought it would. Several arguments may point to this. Threads’ phenomenal growth can be put down to its creator's high public profile. It lacks the key features of X, such as trending topics and direct messages.

Threads could certainly leverage Meta’s already colossal user base from Facebook and Instagram, but so far this remains to be seen. The early signs of user engagement dropping will be a cause for concern in the Meta boardroom. One option is that Threads and X cater to different needs and audiences, coexisting with different user bases. Meta itself has even stated that Threads is not designed to replace X, but to be an alternative platform offering a different experience. As the full force of Meta’s finances will not be attacking X directly to replace it, it’s hard to see it usurping it. X's already-established user base and uniqueness make it unlikely to disappear anytime soon. While Threads has high potential, it is not an immediate and direct threat to X. Yet.

Neil Hodgson Coyle
Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Editorial chief at TechNews180
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