This year, much of the social media buzz is around Twitter’s transformation to X, and Meta’s launch of Threads in July emerged as a direct rival to X. Threads experienced 100m+ sign-ups in its first five days to be one of the fastest apps to reach such numbers. And this will mean that marketers should put Threads into the mix.
With the range of social media channels, choosing the right one can be challenging.
For instance, security and compliance is a big factor. Social teams often overlook the security and compliance aspect, which is useful in filtering the content. For instance, the Irish Data Protection Commission fined Meta $1.3 billion for violating the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) since it transferred the personal data of EU users to US servers.
Brands must be committed to data security and social media etiquette. Real-time social content monitoring allows the software to automatically search for items on supported social networks. Does your GRC software support X, Threads, or both? Will it help with data privacy, access control, remediation, cyber risk assessment, and more? These are a few security aspects to be considered when deciding between Threads and X.
Let us check out both platforms based on other such criteria and determine when to choose which one.
Choosing the platform based on features that appeal to your marketing
As a marketer, you’d want to evaluate where your target audience is more active and receptive.
One way to do so includes using social media tools that provide insights into audience demographics, online behaviors, and engagement metrics. These tools streamline the content creation process, schedule posts for optimal times, and provide real-time feedback on campaign performance.
For instance, if a significant portion of your target audience is most active on Threads, focusing on visual content and employing Instagram’s advertising features would be helpful. Likewise, for X users, you can schedule tweets based on the best time for your target audience to drive engagement.
Anyone with an existing Instagram account can use Threads since both are seamlessly connected. This integration enables sharing data, followers, and personal details, preventing users from starting afresh.
While Threads is accessible on iOS and Google Play, it’s restricted to mobile platforms. The web interface merely displays a QR code for app download.
Now, for the features, here’s what it offers:
- Text posts, up to 500 characters.
- Videos, up to 5 minutes.
- Images and GIFs.
- Website links.
- Limit of 10 items per thread.
- Restrictions to mentions and replies.
Users can post content from Threads on Instagram stories and promote it as a link on various platforms. As for user engagement, one can choose from giving a thumbs up, leaving feedback, re-sharing the thread, and distributing it.
If you’re targeting a primarily mobile audience, Threads is your go-to since it’s specifically designed for mobile platforms.
Threads allow text posts up to 500 characters and videos up to 5 minutes. This gives you significant room to publish slightly more extended content than X.
Lastly, if you already have a significant following on Instagram and are nailing your campaigns on that platform, go with Threads. Because it helps leverage the data, followers, and personal details already available on Instagram.
Users on Twitter accounts will experience no change with the X. This means their details and profile won’t change. This is a rebranding exercise by XCorp-acquired Twitter to champion the cause of free expression and to boost the momentum of X, their everything app.
Users can use it like Twitter since it can be downloaded from iOS and Google Play and works well with iPads. Moreover, X has its web version, where the ‘Twitter.com’ domain is still present.
With the introduction of X Blue (a subscription-based service), X now offers its free and premium users exclusive features.
Here are the features available for free users:
- Text posts, up to 280 characters.
- Videos up to 140 seconds.
- Images and GIFs.
- Website links.
- Limit to four items per post.
- Restrictions on mentions and replies.
Subscribers of X Blue enjoy unique features and are entitled to the blue or gold verification badge. The subscription costs for X Blue begin at $8/month for the web version, while it’s priced at $11/month for the iOS and Android platforms.
When making a choice based on the available features, consider the following.
- X is accessible on mobile and the web, enabling you to have a broader reach and ensuring that users on desktop platforms aren’t excluded.
- If you’re considering getting the premium experience as a brand, then X Blue offers exclusive features. This makes it attractive for brands looking for advanced features and verification badges.
- When your marketing approach is about creating an impact with quick, concise updates, leverage X for its 280-character limit (for text posts) and a 140-second limit for videos.
Know where your audience is
Statista data shows that X is particularly favored by individuals between the ages of 25 and 34. It’s a dynamic platform where users quickly share their views, emphasizing concise posts, ideal for frequent updates on current trends.
For years, B2C brands have used Twitter (now X) to engage in direct dialogue with their consumers. X’s social media customer service stats demonstrate that 64% of their customers would promptly connect to a dedicated support handle rather than calling the business.
This shows how X is preferred by audiences for its immediate response capability.
X has allowed B2C brands to create conversations with their customers for years. 32% of brands leverage X for customer service, thanks to the platform’s real-time nature.
Conversely, Threads is tailored for the younger demographic, primarily those between 18 and 24 years. While its primary purpose is lighthearted chats among peers, businesses also tap into Threads to showcase a more relaxed facet of their identity.
Marketers can use Threads to bolster brand recognition and maximize engagement. A notable advantage of Threads at present is its absence of advertisements. This ensures that paid posts don’t overshadow organic content, leading to heightened user interaction.
A recent study by Neil Patel shows that an average post on Threads will generate
- 31.4 likes vs. 4.9 on X.
- 4.3 comments Vs. 0.4 on X.
Check the trends
Threads became the quickest app to achieve 100 million users following its introduction, signaling the tremendous potential for advertisers. However, engagement shortly after experienced a dip to half.
Meta has kept expanding the service and just launched a web-based interface.
Conversely, X faces turbulent times with a continuous exodus of advertisers. Notably, a MediaRadar study found that of the 3,100 businesses that advertised on X in May (CEO Yaccarino’s first full month in the post), 34% still needed to renew their contracts for June.
After Musk’s acquisition, Capterra conducted a study with several marketers who had looked into alternative platforms. Their findings indicate that 68% of them are worried about a potential decline in Twitter users.
Furthermore, 35% mentioned that they briefly halted advertising on X but have resumed their usual ad activities. On the other hand, 43% stated that their business never stopped or interrupted advertisements. This suggests that numerous brands continue to see X as a valuable marketing tool.
That said, Threads offers a better reach beyond the scope of a single post, which encourages users to share their threads on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook (owned by Meta). Because of the increased visibility and FOMO created by cross-posting, Threads may see an uptick in its organic follower count as the platform gains popularity overall.
Choosing based on trends
Risk vs. Reward: When choosing between Threads and X, consider the risk vs. reward for both platforms. Threads show early promise, but its initial success, followed by a sharp decline, indicates volatility. On the other hand, platform X, despite its challenges, has a substantial percentage of advertisers continuing to see value. It may be a more stable choice in the short term.
Long-Term Strategy: Given Meta’s commitment to evolving and expanding Threads, it might see a resurgence or stable growth in the future. For instance, it launched the keyword search feature in India and other countries. Such changes are bound to provide a better platform. Therefore, allocating a smaller budget to Threads to test the waters could be worthwhile while maintaining a presence on platform X.
Diversification: It is always wise to diversify your marketing efforts and not put all the eggs in one basket. Consider allocating budgets to both platforms (Threads and X), adjusting based on performance and ROI.
The evolving nature of the social media world requires marketers to adapt to different platforms and find the one that fits their brand voice. A quick comparison of Threads vs. X above highlights that thorough research and meticulous planning can help make the right choice.