“Threads vs. Twitter: Exploring the Battle of Social Media Platforms 2023”


Tech billionaires Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk are jokingly setting up a cage match. The battle has begun in the business world.

Within less than 24 hours of Mark Zuckerberg launching his Threads feature on Twitter, he claimed to have already gained nearly 30 million sign-ups, which has boosted its credibility as a serious contender in the world of social media.

Despite accounting for a very small proportion of Twitter’s user base, analysts believe it represents a fantastic opportunity for Mr. Zuckerberg’s Meta, which already has over 3 billion users on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, to attract some of them for its new offering and bring advertisers along.

After all, Mr. Zuckerberg, whose Meta earned over $117 billion in sales last year, has had a stellar record in selling advertisements, and Mr. Musk has no clear objections either, as he has ridiculed advertising in his electric car company. Tesla and Twitter are exploring alternative ways to fund.

Mr. Zuckerberg stated that there would be no advertisements initially on Threads, which will give the company time to refine the app, allowing users to endlessly scroll through text-based posts.

He expressed that our strategy aligns consistently with our previous ventures, prioritizing product functionality before considering widespread adoption by one billion individuals and subsequently contemplating monetization.

However, ultimately, Threads ads could contribute 1% to 5% of Meta’s total revenue, which could generate over $6 billion in the most optimistic scenario, according to Keefe, Bruyette & Woods equity research analyst Justin Patterson.

It’s not much, but it’s also not inconsequential, particularly in light of the fact that the business is attempting to find methods to counteract the detrimental effects Apple’s stringent privacy standards are having on ad sales.

And it is a considerable distance from Twitter, which earned over $4.5 billion in advertising revenue in 2021 before Mr. Musk’s takeover.

Will users stick around Threads?

Whether the money comes in or not depends on what Threads becomes in the coming weeks and months.

Mr. Musk was ready for a retaliatory action on Thursday, threatening legal action against Meta for allegedly stealing business secrets.

However, disillusionment with Twitter has left many hungry for alternatives, and Meta has promised a “more enlightened, compassionate place” compared to Twitter, which had “more intelligent, kind space” as a slogan, according to Insider Intelligence analyst Jasmine Enberg.

Sara Jessica Parker, renowned for her iconic role in Sex and the City, playfully quipped, “Engaging in social media.” This lighthearted remark came as she joined forces with global sensation Shakira, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, and reality TV star Khloe Kardashian in the realm of digital platforms.

Analysts say success will depend on powerful users of Twitter or those who win on the platform who have never signed up for the app before – there are no definite conditions.

However, fashion and lifestyle content, which is Instagram’s bread and butter, is undoubtedly appealing to advertisers, but it is not clear if the world needs another platform to consume it.

Mr. Zuckerberg’s relationship with the news is also complicated, which is one of Twitter’s main functions.

He has stated that surveys show users want less of it on platforms run by his company, and in Canada, his firm is preparing to eliminate local reporting in favor of paying news providers for their content.

Ms. Enberg said, “The news junkies and the Twitter loyalists are unlikely to leave Twitter, and for Meta to keep Threads interesting after the novelty wears off, they will need to deliver on their promise of a more enlightened, compassionate space,” as Mr. Zuckerberg, who has previously dabbled in creating controversial products, has “struggled” with innovation.

Regulatory risks

Advertisers will also want assurance that their money is not being spent on sites that expose them to disinformation and privacy problems.

Under Mr. Musk, Twitter, which was struggling to be profitable, abruptly parted ways with advertisers by changing how it moderates site content, and recently, a new limit has been set on how many posts viewers can see.

According to analysts, Meta has already benefited from Twitter’s loss of revenue.

However, Mr. Zuckerberg is not coming out unscathed with his clean record either.

His company has been battling advertisers for years over the transparency and accuracy of its data, while user data and management of misinformation have drawn extensive criticism.

Lu Paskalis, Chief Executive of AGL Advisory, a marketing heavyweight, said, “Advertisers want a clean… well-lit environment where content is controlled based on agreed rules and terms.” “All in all, the social media landscape is a dumpster fire at this time.”

Shares of Meta rose by 4% before the launch on Wednesday, signaling investors’ confidence in Mark Zuckerberg’s ability to make it work despite the flops like Facebook Dating.

But replicating the way news is disseminated on Twitter will be challenging, said Mr. Paskalis, leaving room for both platforms to coexist.

Alternatively, he suggested a looming threat for Mr. Musk, saying, “One key will be how long Threads stays away from advertising.” “Whatever that period is, it’s the period of time Twitter has to fix its ship.”


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