Threads vs X: See Which Social Media App Wins!

Threads and X (ex-Twitter) are now dominating social discourse. Is Meta’s new Twitter look-alike a better alternative for X? Let’s find out – X vs Threads!

The battle for social media supremacy is an ongoing fight. The technology landscape is ever-growing and fast-paced. New platforms and apps come out trying to get close to social media giants that dominate the market and every free moment we have. However, the headlines are already reserved for X (formerly known as Twitter) and the new Thread app. 

In terms of the general purpose of use, Threads and X are similar – people can write, read, and follow up with social threads posted by other people. They are both powerful social discourse platforms that haven't been around for long. These two aspects combined ignited a whole rivalry – Threads vs Twitter, now X. Is Threads the new Twitter? Did Meta launch Threads as a response to Elon Musk’s X? Which platform is better? The questions seem endless. But we are here to break it down for you once and for all. That being said here it is the ultimate X, ex Twitter vs Threads comparison.

What is Threads? 

Operated by the Meta platforms, Threads is a social media service that is used for social networking – for posting social threads. When the Threads news hit the market everyone immediately thought of Twitter, or better said X. And no one can be blamed for that, the concepts of both platforms do look similar at first glance. 

As Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms of all time, the popularity of Threads wasn’t an assumption but a certainty. That combined with the similarity with the old Twitter was the perfect recipe for a platform that would break records. And Threads achieved the unbelievable – it broke the record set by ChatGPT in 2022. So at the beginning of July 2023, in its first five days Threads set the record for the fastest-growing consumer software application with over 100 million users.

Threads is best used from the app as the web version can be used but with limitations. Both iOS and Android users can download Threads. To browse and get a real feeling of the platform it’s recommended to install the mobile app. It’s a general rule of social media networks – they offer a completely different experience when accessed from a mobile device. It’s easier to scroll, to post images, to write comments, and most importantly to be up to date with what’s new and how people are reacting to your content.

Threads Unique Features

  • Integration with Instagram

To be able to make a Threads account in the first place you need to have an Instagram account. Even before being available in a larger number of countries, everyone had heard about the Threads news and couldn’t wait until they would be able to hop on the new Meta platform. Even more so, Instagram users received a notification in the app when Threads was available to be downloaded. By simply clicking that notification, users were directed to the App Store or Google Play respectively. 

Also, users could choose to display their Threads username on their Instagram profile, and in the Threads app by clicking the Instagram icon they could be redirected to the Instagram profile of that person. Threads users can also easily share social threads on their Instagram stories. Deactivating your Instagram account implicates deactivating your Threads account and deleting your Threads account can’t be done without deleting your Instagram account as well.

  • Live Debate

One unique thing the Thread app can be used for is debating. But not just simple debating – live debating sessions. Threads users can create debates that circle around a certain pre-established topic or join one such debate thread. Even when not actively participating in the discussion, users can just follow the debate thread in real time. 

To ensure a respectful discussion, Threads uses Threads moderators. They follow along with the debate and make sure that it is not escalating or turning into a fight where participants resort to verbal violence. At the end of each debate, winners are chosen by the participants who end up on the leaderboard.

  • Thread Subscription

Threads offers a feature that you can only find on the Thread app called individual thread subscription. As the name suggests, this feature allows users to subscribe to a single social thread. This subscription lasts 24 hours after which it disappears. The purpose of this feature is to make following a debate easier. Also, this way you don’t miss out on anything related to the subject that interests you.

What is X (Formerly Twitter)?

Everyone has surely heard of Twitter. It was one of the most used and loved apps in the last decade. Not only did Twitter have hundreds of millions of people registered to their platform but the number of monthly active users reached 330 million. Over time Twitter had built a strong community of avid users. In 2023 the Twitter era came to a sudden end when Elon Musk became the new owner. 

Twitter became X. But the name of the platform is not the only thing that changed. The logo, the overall look of the app, the color scheme, the regulations – everything was different. Elon Musk removed from Twitter everything that was representative of the app. The iconic Twitter blue bird turned into a stylized version of the letter X, tweets turned into posts, and the posting was more permissive which led to hate speech accusations.

From posting and reading tweets, Musk had the intention to turn X into an app that included everything from social media to shopping, and even banking. However, currently, X remains a social media platform that people use for more or less the same reason as Twitter was used for. Short written content and real-time updates are still the things you can find on X.

X Unique Features

  • Live Videos

Like on other social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, X users can go live. However, Instagram and TikTok are popular for other kinds of content – users use them to post images and videos. In the segment, the written bite-sized content, X belongs to, this feature is rather unique. Threads doesn’t support live videos at the moment.

The live video feature of X works in a similar way to other platforms. With just one click, X users can launch a live broadcast. After each live session ends, the video is automatically saved as a post. Live streaming is a great feature for a platform to offer as it creates the possibility for users to host live events.

  • Subscriptions

Content creation has become increasingly popular in the last couple of years. More and more people are looking to grow their following to build a career out of posting content. To attract already established content creators or to inspire people interested in becoming one to start their journey, X came up with a subscription feature. 

This feature enables approved content creators to monetize their posts. By paying a subscription fee, X users can access the unique content posted by a certain content creator. In 2023 X came up with the shared ad revenue feature that is only available for premium users. If you are eligible for shared ad revenue, X will pay you for ads that are attached to your posts through their Payment Partner system. 

  • X Spaces

To increase the time spent on the platform, X came up with X Spaces. X Spaces is a place designated for audio conversations. The uses for this feature are varied so anyone can find a use for it. Some common uses are watch parties, interactive podcasts, and live TV. To become part of such a space, you have to request access from the host that moderates the session. You could compare it to an audio conference during which up to 13 people can talk. Another aspect similar to conferencing platforms is the recording and scheduling option.

Threads vs X

While the debate X, former Twitter vs Threads comes from the similarities that they pose, they are still different platforms that offer different user experiences. In the X vs Threads battle, one app might be more suitable for certain groups of people with certain preferences or some features they might be interested in are not available on one app. Let’s dive in and see some of the most noticeable differences in the X vs Threads discussion.

  • Differences in Use

When it comes to the length of the content users can share on X and Threads, the platforms differ. Threads’ focus is represented by longer more detailed content. Text posts support up to 500 characters and videos can be up to five minutes long. X is focused on short attention-grabbing content. Text posts can be 280 characters long and videos have to be up to 140 seconds in length.

Another difference in use is represented by conversational structure. As the name of the app suggests, Threads is meant for threaded conversations. So people who use it are more interested in following topics of discussion to which different people add their take on the matter. X, on the other hand, is focused on quick content that is easy to digest and is not necessarily framed by other posts.

The type of interactions is also an important aspect to consider when making the Threads vs X comparison. Due to the length of the posts and conversational structure, Threads is more suitable for thoughtful interactions that leave a certain impression on the people involved. In contrast, X is an app more appropriate for real-time interactions that are informative and meant to keep users updated. 

  • Feature Comparison

One thing that you can do on X but can’t on Threads is direct messaging. This makes the interactions between users more limited compared to X. However, X’s direct messaging feature is known for being used for sending harassing messages. By not providing this feature, Threads eliminates this threat and the possibility of forming connections altogether. If a Threads user wants to send a message to another user, Instagram is necessary. Luckily finding a person’s Instagram account is very simple – it takes just a few clicks. 

When it comes to the searching possibilities on the platforms X and Threads differ again. On Threads, users can only search for usernames and accounts. On X’s search bar users can not only write the name of the account they want to find but also search for different topics and browse through hashtags. In terms of searching capabilities, X allows users to perform more advanced searches.

Another difference in features is represented by analytics. This feature is only available on X, Threads doesn’t provide metrics that users can use to see how their posts are performing. On X, users can see what is working and what is not by checking X Analytics. This feature comes in handy, especially for influencers and content creators. Using this feature, they can make adjustments in future posts and campaigns.

  • User Demographics

In the X, former Twitter vs Threads battle, user demographics are a thing to consider. In terms of age, one-third of Threads’ users have ages between 18 and 24. This makes Threads be dominated by the Gen Z. On X on the other hand the majority of users have ages between 25 and 34. This is closely followed by the 18-24 age group. From this, we can conclude that a large number of Twitter users are still using the platform even after becoming X. When it comes to gender, both platforms are dominated by male users. Threads male users encompass 63% of the total percentage of users while X male users add up to 68.1%. In terms of user gender demographics, compared to the other social media platforms, X has the largest share of male users.

  • Pricing

In terms of free download and use of the platforms, both Threads and X are free of charge. However, X offers a priced version of the app called X Premium. For additional features, X users can opt to pay for a subscription. These features are meant to improve the user experience through customization. Even more so, X Premium users gain access to new features before they hit the market. The subscription plans are three in number – Basic ($3/month or $32/year), Premium ($8/month or $84/year), and Premium+ ($16/month or $168/year). 

Ever since the Threads news came out, people started comparing Threads and X. While it is true that they are mutual competition, the apps can be used for different purposes. For real-time updates and short informative content, you could use X. For more meaningful connections and story-like content, you could use Threads. Up until this moment, X seems to have the upper hand with features like direct messaging, analytics, and searching capabilities. However, Threads is only at the beginning of its journey, more updates are sure to come in the near future. Ultimately it’s all up to you and what you are looking for in an app. Threads vs X here, X vs Threads there – this makes you think you can only use one of the platforms. But here’s the good part, if you can’t decide,  you can just use both.

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