For the past six months, the social media giant Meta (AKA Facebook) has attempted to take advantage of the perceived instability at X (AKA Twitter) and create a microblogging community in the same vein, called Threads. Today, we thought we would take a look at Threads and how it is similar to X, and how it aims to pull users away from the microblogging giant. 

Why Would Meta Build X²?

Before we get into a direct comparison, we should briefly go through Meta’s reasoning for launching a microblogging platform when they already have a considerable foothold in the social media space with Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp listed among their offerings. The answer is pretty simple: the instability at X.

In 2022, the infamous billionaire Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion. He immediately made a number of controversial changes that destabilized the popular microblogging platform. This was viewed by Meta as they needed to enter the space. Since X has been the most legitimate platform used by news outlets and people looking for up-to-date news and opinions of people from all walks of life, Meta built a platform that they think can compete and gain that type of legitimacy. 

What Are the Differences Between X and Threads?

For an app that is deliberately designed to take active users away from X, what extra value does Threads bring to users? Well, the first thing is that Threads is directly tied to a user’s Instagram account. If there has been one winner from all of Facebook’s problems and now X’s instability, it has been the Meta-owned picture-sharing app. With more than 2.4 billion people actively using Instagram, the potential for growth is built-in. 

As far as differences go, here is a brief rundown:

  • Character limit – X allows users to post 280 characters, while Threads allows for 500 per post.
  • Direct messages – X allows users to send direct messages, while Threads doesn’t currently allow for direct messages on the platform. It wouldn’t be surprising to have this feature rolled out in the future.
  • Connections – As stated above, Threats are directly linked to a person’s Instagram account. X is an independent app.
  • Application – X can be used on nearly any device, including PCs, while currently Threads is only available as a mobile app.

What Are Meta’s Plans for Threads?

Meta has been pretty tight-lipped about their future plans for the service, but promises that there will be exciting changes coming. Speculation is that they plan on making Threads available for the ActivityPub open, decentralized social networking portal that would allow developers to build new features and user experiences for open social networks. In theory, this would accelerate integrations and feature development. 

Social networks are extremely important to our society and Meta is at the center of that with multiple popular offerings. For more great technology content about contemporary issues like this, visit our blog regularly.