twitter-vs-threads

In case you missed it, on 7/5/2023 Meta released a text based app called Threads by Instagram to compete with Twitter. There’s a rumor that they pushed up the release date in order to capitalize on ongoing meltdown over at Twitter HQ.

My thoughts on Threads

  • They released it too soon. Meta is just now adding basic features that people loudly wished for on day 1.
  • User numbers hit a record 100 million people within 5 days. But a week later, user retention is only 50% at best. This is a direct result of it being released before it had all its intended features.
  • Meta took advantage of the biggest obstacle to adoption, user reticence to start with no followers, by building in an easy follow button. Threads is directly connected to Instagram so it was a fairly seamless adoption and a brilliant move on their part. This is why it went crazy during that first week. Not because the service is great but because it was easy to follow everyone you’re already following on Instagram.
  • It’s not available in the EU yet due to privacy concerns. This is a big red flag.red-flag threads not available in EU

Should You Be Using Threads?

Simply put – No. At least not yet.

There are hundreds and thousands of social media apps your brand could use but you don’t because 1) there’s not enough time, 2) your audience isn’t using most of them, and 3) the tools need to prove that they can impact your bottom line or help you fulfill your objectives. Threads may drive traffic to your website or help you convert but it’s not ready to do that until they finish building it.

Feel free to observe and see what happens, that’s what I’m doing. I did turn it on and play with it for the first few days but I’m underwhelmed. I’m recommending to my clients to wait until solid data is released that shows usage, demographics, and ability to drive traffic. Just because it’s a Meta product doesn’t mean the data will prove it to be useful for your needs.

A Warning

As of now, you can’t delete your Threads account. Is that a huge deal? No. But if your organization is mindful, thoughtful, and conservative when it comes to deploying digital communications, you won’t want to turn this service on until it’s fully vetted.

It’s not ready for prime time. Watch and wait to see if it’s of value to you and your strategy.

X formerly known as TwitterMy Thoughts on Twitter (now known as X)

The most recent development is that as of 7/24/2023, Twitter has been renamed X. Why? Elon Musk simply loves it, thinks it’s sleek and cool, and has used it again and again in his professional career. The problem is (as with most of his moves) he didn’t do any research, he just renamed it. The site itself is still covered with the words Twitter, tweets, and many other references to it’s previous name – a very unprofessional and messy rebranding. They can also expect to face some trademark disputes as there are competitors that already have trademarks for the letter.

Musk wants to build an “everything app” similar to WeChat and that sounds great on the surface. But burning down a well-known brand in order to build something completely different doesn’t sound strategic to me, it sounds petty. Especially when you think about how much he (over)paid for it.

It’s a Dumpster Fire

Dumpster-fireYou’ve heard stories about firing mass quantities of staff with no notice. There were promises made to those employees that they’d receive severance pay. Those employees have received nothing so there are multiple lawsuits including a class action lawsuit to address this.

Then there’s the employees that have been sleeping in the offices, several office locations closing down due to lack of rent being paid, servers being shut down because no payments have been received.

Ad revenue is down by 50% so it’s likely that there isn’t enough money to pay for services rendered (see above). Advertisers and users are running for the hills because of how toxic the environment has become (see below). Not only can they not pay their bills but it’s possible that when the next interest payment comes due, there won’t be money for that either. I’m very curious to see where that money will come from now that he’s promised not to sell any more Tesla stock to pay his bills.

But let’s talk about how dangerous it’s become. If you are a person in a discrimination protected class (women, people of color, LGBTQ+, disabled), the internet is always a scary place but as soon as Musk purchased the platform, he removed account blocks on those that violated hate speech guidelines. The user numbers climbed slightly due to the influx of neo-Nazis that were allowed to return. “Network Contagion Research Institute analyzes social media content and its researchers found a 500% increase in use of the n-word on Twitter within 12 hours of Musk taking over. There have also been big spikes in the use of antisemitic, homophobic, transphobic, and other racist terms besides the N-word on the platform.” Forbes

But it gets worse. This year GLAAD’s 3rd annual Social Media Safety Index graded Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter on LGBTQ safety, privacy and expression. Twitter received the lowest grade of the 5, at 33%. It was also the only platform to see its safety score decline from last year as a result of policy changes by Musk. The Hill

Your Organizational Values

Look at your mission statement, your stated values, your charter. Where in there does it align with what Twitter has become? It doesn’t. If you serve women, the LGBTQIA+ community, or people of color and you claim to value them, then it’s time to remove your organization from the increasing disaster that is X.

If you choose to stay, then you are complicit with what they stand for and I don’t think you are.

x killed twitter birdHow Do You Leave Twitter/X Behind?

I’m recommending to my clients that have large followings to make one final post. It can say something like, “Our organization doesn’t agree with the policies of this platform any longer. You can find us at (website link) (socials links).”

You could just delete your account like I did back in April 2022 (I knew this scenario was coming) but if you’re likely to be spoofed or have competitors, you may want to hang onto your account so no one can take it once you’ve vacated.

It’s not going to get better over there. It’s only going to get worse. It’s your choice if you stay but know that if you associate with hate speech that it reflects on you and your brand.

9 replies
  1. Daphne Peterson
    Daphne Peterson says:

    Great report on Threads and Twitter! The “X” is cold, militaristic, and generally unwelcoming. Any information or thoughts on BlueSky? PS-please invite me if you’re already in!

    Reply
  2. Karen
    Karen says:

    You’ve summed it up perfectly!!!
    I am so mad and frustrated about Twitter. Granted I don’t use it for work (anymore). But it’s been a great place to keep current on emergencies. It still is but with caution (avoid the comments). Some accounts do mention where else you can find them, but I’ve not made the jump to anything else.
    Do you have any suggestions for Twitter-like communications?

    Reply
  3. Karen
    Karen says:

    You’ve summed it up perfectly!!!
    I am so mad and frustrated about Twitter. Granted I don’t use it for work (anymore). But it’s been a great place to keep current on emergencies. It still is but with caution (avoid the comments).
    Do you have any suggestions for Twitter-like communications?

    Reply

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