Twitter Competitor Threads by Instagram iOS App

Twitter Faces Disruption From Meta Owned Threads This Week

Since Elon Musk acquired Twitter last fall, the social media platform has undergone numerous transformations. In a recent development over the weekend, the social media giant implemented a temporary throttling of its service, limiting unverified accounts to viewing 600 posts per day.

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Twitter Blue accounts were granted access to 6,000 posts per day, indicating a preference for its paid subscribers.

Furthermore, Twitter announced on Monday that access to TweetDeck, the popular dashboard for monitoring and organizing accounts, will soon be restricted to Twitter Blue subscribers as well.

Introduced earlier this year, Twitter Blue is a subscription-based service priced at $8 per month, replacing the previous free verified user accounts that required Twitter’s verification process for the iconic blue star designation.

These recent changes followed the initial turbulence that accompanied Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, which involved significant staff reductions and substantial changes to the platform’s posting policies.

As a privately-owned company, the financial performance under Musk’s ownership[ remains unknown.

However, there are indications that some advertisers have ceased placing promoted tweets on the platform, while some users have sought to focus on alternative social media channels to promote their business.

Despite the emergence of competing platforms like Mastodon and Telegram, Twitter possesses a unique position in the social media landscape, particularly in the Western world.

While both Mastodon and Telegram have been touted as potential alternatives, they have struggled to gain significant traction for marketers, compared to Twitter.

Mastodon is a decentralized social media platform that prioritizes privacy, moderation, and user control over content. While it offers an alternative to centralized platforms like Twitter, it remains relatively small in scale.

Messaging app Telegram boasts a much larger global user base than Twitter. It features end-to-end encryption, group chats, multimedia file sharing, and additional functionalities like channels and bots, resembling Twitter in certain aspects.

Telegram has gained increased attention in the U.S. and other Western countries due to its use by Ukrainian and Russian officials and bloggers, which share opinions and news about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Despite Telegram’s significant popularity in Eastern European, Asian, and Middle Eastern countries, it does not currently serve as a viable alternative for online merchants or digital marketers in Western countries.

In addition, most major social media management tools primarily support well-established platforms for marketers, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, Google Business, and YouTube.

While a few social media management tools support Telegram and Mastodon to some extent (e.g., Buffer supports Mastodon, and Publer supports Telegram), the limited availability of such tools makes these platforms less than ideal for online merchants, marketplace sellers, and digital marketers.

Emerging Competitors Put Pressure on Twitter

With the ‘chaos’ at Twitter and the unease of larger advertisers to embrace the Musk-run version of the platform, two alternative social media services are poised to challenge Twitter’s space and capture the attention of marketers.

One of these alternatives is Bluesky, a decentralized social media platform supported by Jack Dorsey, the original founder of Twitter.

Currently in private beta, Bluesky claims to have already attracted 100,000 users, through public invites by the end of June.

Bluesky aims to revolutionize social media by enabling users to transfer their data between various platforms, even those they don’t control.

While often ‘simplified’ as a competitor to Twitter, Bluesky goes beyond that, seeking to empower users and content creators with greater control over their data.

The company appears to rapidly expand the approval process for beta invites, doubling its user base from April to June. An official public launch date has not been announced as of now.

Another noteworthy contender is Threads by Instagram, a new text-based social media platform by Meta, the company behind Facebook and Instagram.

Threads was made available for “pre-order” on the iOS App Store on Monday. In addition, the app’s website features a countdown with a launch date of July 6 at 10 am EST.

According to The Verge, Chris Cox, Meta’s Chief Product Officer, referred to Threads as “our response to Twitter” during a company-wide meeting. Furthermore, Cox stated that creators and public figures have expressed interest “in having a platform that is sanely run” they can trust for distribution.

Leveraging Instagram’s user base, Threads will be digital marketing-ready from its inception. Meta has already invited select influencers to join the platform and familiarize themselves with its interface.

However, initial availability will be limited to U.S. and UK users, as Meta has reportedly postponed the launch in EU countries due to issues related to the EU’s Digital Markets Act.

Uncertainty remains regarding API support for Threads, potentially requiring social media management tools to wait until Meta incorporates Threads into their API.

With a staggering user base of over 2 billion on Instagram, Threads has the potential to become a formidable competitor to Twitter.

To achieve this, expanding to Android, expanding access to Instagram’s global user base, and integrating support for social media management tools will be crucial for Threads’ growth.

In conclusion, two imminent launches of Twitter-like apps are poised to challenge Twitter’s audience, presenting opportunities for online merchants, marketplace sellers, and digital marketers.

Even with the launch of Threads this week, it will take time to cultivate an audience and offer the comprehensive toolset available on Twitter (both free and paid) to pose a significant threat in the short term.

Active social media marketers should consider embracing these new services and create accounts to familiarize themselves with the platforms’ appearance and functionality.

Participating in the early stages of these launches allows marketers to track the progress of usability and tools as the platforms strive for mainstream adoption.

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