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The Student News Site of North Allegheny Intermediate High School

NA Eye

The Student News Site of North Allegheny Intermediate High School

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X vs. Threads: The Takeover

Kyle Byrne
Threads set records for user sign-ups in its first week.

Threads, the newly developed microblogging service from Meta, is paving the way to a new era of social media with its highly anticipated release and leaves X, formerly known as Twitter, in the dust as the takeover occurs.

Since the release of Threads on July 5, 2023, the new company received 100 million sign ups in the first week of its release, making it the fastest growing app ever. One highschool Threads user said that, “I like that it connects right to my instagram account so I can have the same followers that I have on Instagram on my Threads account.” Users being able to connect their Instagram account directly to threads has proven useful as influencers, companies, and various colleges have recently joined the app showing they trust the platform that has been created.

With a 44 billion dollar purchase, Musk brought Twitter under his larger corporation X, leading to the well known and talked about rebrand of Twitter to X. Musk also brought many changes to the already controversial app like the subscription needed to have your account verified, elimination of the block feature, and lowering the number of posts, or formally known as tweets, allowed in a day. Not only did he change the app features, but he laid off nearly 80 percent of the staff leaving only a little under 2,000 active employees.

X, or Twitter, was not always so controversial however. Twitter originated in 2006 when a NYU student shared his idea in a brainstorming session with a podcasting company Odeo. The company saw nearly 20,000 tweets a day in just the first few months of its release. After multiple tech conferences, by 2010 Twitter was seeing 50 million tweets per day with the majority of these being companies advertising and people sharing thoughts. However, with Elon Musk’s purchase of the multibillion dollar company in October of 2022 the app’s fate changed.

Threads is basically like Twitter but more user friendly and has a kinder environment.

— a Threads user

Before Musk’s purchase of the app, Twitter was already seen as a very opinion-oriented platform that had changed for the worse. Twitter featured as a campaign site for a numerous number of politicians throughout the 2020 and 2016 election, causing the app to erupt in a storm with opinions and hate messages being sent. The community on the app began to feel more negative as conspiracy theories and false information were easily spread from one person to another with no verification of their truth. Information about the pandemic and election rigging were widely spread, leading to further separation of the two parties for the center of the US government.

All of this negativity on X did not go away with the introduction of Musk. In fact, some think it got worse. An early major change he brought was the elimination of the block function allowing for hate and harassment to arise on the platform. Also, users now have to pay for verification which could lead to users pretending to be a celebrity or influencer and spreading lies from the “celebrity” account. Musk also reduced the number of tweets allowed to be sent in a day in hope to make people use the app less and spend time with family. With the introduction of Musk, it put the final straw on X and allowed for other platforms to come out with a rival app of X.

Meta, seeing the struggles of X, created a platform that’s purpose is to spread positivity and allow users freedom while using the app. With users fleeing from X seeking positivity on social media, Threads was ready for the change of social media attention. One new Threads user said that, “Threads is basically like Twitter but more user friendly and has a kinder environment.”

This was the goal of the team at Meta working on the Threads launch. They wanted to create a public space that was friendly and a platform that was not highly political – which often creates tension in conversation. By requiring those joining Threads to have an Instagram account, they could draw on their user base to create content on friendly topics such as music, fashion, food, and sports. In the US, 75% of the age group 18-24 years old use Instagram – and this age group is very attractive to advertisers, causing more and more companies to join Threads.

Threads has seen early success, but will it be enough to overtake X who has had a strong supporter group even through the controversial times. It will be up to the users and what they want to experience on their social networks.

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About the Contributor
Kyle Byrne
Kyle Byrne, Staff Writer
Kyle is a sophomore at NAI and this is his first year on staff! He enjoys playing tennis outside of school and plays for the school team.

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