Threads: A Real Twitter Alternative for Brands?

Threads vs. Twitter: What should brands focus on now? And what opportunities does Threads offer for companies?

In July 2023, Meta launched its microblogging platform in the USA and 99 other countries, followed by the EU six months later. This means that Threads recently celebrated its first birthday. It is important to note that the social network broke all records with its rapid user growth and quickly became the most popular alternative to Twitter/X. So, you may be asking is Threads better than Twitter/X for your business or brand? 

If you’re not sure whether Threads is worth it for your brand or whether you should stick with Twitter/X, we’ve put together the biggest pros and cons of Threads for you.

Will Threads Replace Twitter/X?

User Numbers & Growth: Is Threads Better Than Twitter?

Just four days after its launch in July 2023, Threads had already recorded 100 million app downloads and has since been considered the fastest-growing social platform of all time. On July 5, 2024, the first anniversary of Threads, Mark Zuckerberg announced the current size of the platform’s user base and announced that Threads currently has more than 175 million monthly active users worldwide.

After hearing that number, you might be wondering if Threads more popular than Twitter. Let’s look at Threads’ user count vs. Twitter’s user count to see if that’s the case. According to estimates, Threads has already overtaken its direct competitor Twitter/X, especially in terms of daily active users. While 22 million users in the US were active on Twitter/X per day in April 2024, there were 28 million users on Threads. Moreover, the number of daily active users on Twitter/X is declining year-to-year. Meta, on the other hand, is experiencing positive growth with Threads. Since December 2023, its user base has grown by 55%. So, in terms of looking at Threads vs. Twitter in terms of active users, there is a case to be made that Threads is more popular than Twitter/X.

This may be due to the fact that Threads attracts a particularly large number of users in the start-up phase as a new platform, but it is also closely linked to Instagram – the world’s second-largest social media platform. New users are given a particularly easy way to create a profile, followers are automatically added and posted Threads can also be shared on Instagram with a single click. Conversely, users can click directly on the Threads shared in the Instagram Stories and switch back and forth between the apps.

A man speaking into a megaphone with two women in front of him.

The positive numbers for Threads could also be due to a generally more positive atmosphere. According to Meta, the content on Threads is moderated according to the same strict community guidelines as on Instagram and hate comments or insults are deleted. In comparison, Twitter/X has repeatedly attracted negative headlines since its acquisition by Elon Musk. For example, Twitter/X has laid off more than 1,000 employees responsible for moderating content since October 2022. Since then, propaganda accounts and misinformation have been gaining more and more influence.

The target groups of the two platforms also differ. While Twitter/X was already known as a rather political platform, since Musk’s takeover, more bot accounts have been popping up on it, deliberately spreading disinformation, and the mood is generally not perceived as positive. According to Adam Mosseri, CEO of Instagram, the target group of Threads, on the other hand, is more in the field of sports, music, fashion, beauty, and entertainment.

Threads vs. Twitter/X: A Feature Comparison

Is Threads really like Twitter? When thinking about Threads vs. Twitter in general, are there noticeable differences? In the following table, we have compared the most important features of the two platforms for you. Although there is some overlap in the microblogging functions, each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses.

ThreadsTwitter/X
Post length500 characters280 characters
Media• Photos, carousels, GIFs
• Videos (up to 5 minutes long)
• Links
• Polls
• Voice messages
• Photos, carousels, GIFs
• Videos (up to 2 minutes long)
• Links
• Polls
• Locations
User interaction• Like or comment 
• Repost or quote Threads  

• No direct messaging (yet)
• Like or comment 
• Retweet or quote

• Direct messaging
Hashtags• Hashtags are called “Topics”
• only 1 topic per post
• Multiple hashtags per tweet
• Trending hashtags displayed on homepage
AdvertisingNo ads (yet)Advertising possible
Sign-upvia Instagram account Independent account
PricingFree of chargeFree with some restrictions 
e.g. no verification checkmarks

Features limited to X Premium / Twitter Blue include e.g. editing posts and publishing longer videos
MorePart of the Fediverse

A special feature of Threads is that it is part of the Fediverse, an open, global network of social media servers. Threads users can share their content throughout the Fediverse, making it accessible on other platforms. For example, users on Mastodon can see and interact with Threads posts even if they don’t have a Threads profile.

Integration into the Fediverse will happen in several stages and, since June 2024, users in 100+ countries have been able to share their Threads in the Fediverse. Those in the EU still have to be patient. According to Meta, additional features will be introduced to Threads gradually.

A banner with two people high-fiving and a "Start your free trial" button and dark background.

Threads: Opportunities for Brands and Businesses

Although the user base of Threads is still quite small compared to other social networks, the platform has a lot of potential. Brands can already use Threads to support their marketing strategy on Instagram and other platforms.

The feed of users on Threads consists partly of posts from profiles they follow. The other part consists of posts that the algorithm classifies as interesting for them. In this way it functions similarly to Instagram. Meta says it places particular emphasis on ensuring that users always discover new content. This means that companies have the potential to achieve high reach with organic content on Threads.

Since Threads is still quite new, there are only assumptions about how the algorithm works, such as that the algorithm is based on activity. For instance, if a user posts, shares, and comments on a lot of content, that particular content type will appear more often in the feed of his or her followers. By actively using the platform and interacting with users, smaller companies and brands can also build an active community on Threads.

What’s more, the microblogging platform is currently still free of ads – and Meta plans to keep it that way for the time being. Threads is not a platform (at this point) for advertising or self-promotion. Rather, it is designed to help users exchange ideas with like-minded people, build real connections and communicate on an equal footing with other individuals as well as with brands. Most social media users want to see more authentic, non-promotional posts in their feeds. If companies keep this in mind, they can use Threads to build a personal brand connection with their target group through authentic content.

A woman jumping up with a skateboard to the side of a workplace.

However, in addition to the many opportunities that Threads offers for brands, there is a significant drawback compared to other social networks. Until recently, you could not analyze the performance of your content posted on Threads. However, since the end of June 2023, social media tools such as Fanpage Karma have made it possible to analyze the performance of your own Threads. The ability to track your competitors or other relevant profiles and to carry out detailed competitor analyses, something that is possible for other platforms, is not yet available for Threads.

Summary

Asking about whether you need to choose either Twitter or Threads, or even if Threads will replace Twitter, is probably premature at this point. Whether Threads as a microblogging platform will be able to establish itself as a viable alternative to Twitter in the long term remains to be seen. However, brands currently have a number of opportunities to grow organically on Threads and to really connect with their target group through authentic content.

Our tip: Use Threads to put the personal element of your brand into the spotlight, join in on conversations with your target group if you have something interesting to contribute, and present yourself as approachable, accessible, and authentic. Show some humor, have fun, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

If you want to incorporate Threads into your social media strategy, you can easily do so with the all-in-one social media tool Fanpage Karma. Together with your other social media channels, you can plan and publish your Threads, manage your community, respond to comments and analyze your performance. You can try Fanpage Karma now free of charge for 14 days.

Fanpage Karma also offers a free weekly webinar where you can learn how to use the tool to improve your social media performance in general.

Twitter/X KPIs

What are the most important Twitter/X KPIs to track in order to assess your performance?…
Read More

Instagram KPIs

Learn more about the most important KPIs on Instagram. Find out what you should be…
Read More
Scroll to Top