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Thread vs Twitter: What’s the same and what’s different?

Developed by Meta and linked to your Instagram account, Threads is yet another Twitter rival to hit our screens.

Alongside BlueSky Social, Threads is the latest Twitter rival to throw its hat into the social media ring. Threads was developed by Meta, the same company behind Facebook and Instagram, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg claiming that five million people have already signed up in the four hours since its launch on Thursday the 6th of July.

But what does Threads bring to the table? We’re going to be running through some of the key differences between Threads and Twitter to see if it’s really worth the hype.

Threads requires an Instagram account

Threads is a Meta app, with the company also responsible for a host of apps including Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. To sign up for Threads you will need to already have an Instagram account, with the option of importing important information like your verification, bio and friends from Instagram over to Threads. 

Twitter only requires an email address or phone number to sign up, and is not intrinsically linked to other social media platforms. 

Threads doesn’t have a desktop app

Threads is currently only available as an app on Android and iOS devices, which means you can only access it on the likes of smartphones and tablets. That means you can’t use Threads on desktop PCs and laptops, which may be a big issue if that’s your main way of using social media.

Twitter doesn’t have this restriction, accessible as both an app (on Android and iOS) and through a web browser, so you can still log into the platform on Mac and PC.

Threads does not support GIFs or direct messages

Threads is missing numerous basic features at launch. This includes the lack of direct messaging, which means you’re unable to speak to other users privately. We imagine Meta is working on this feature, as it is available on Instagram.

Threads also doesn’t support GIFs when creating a new post. Right now, you can only use text, images and videos in posts. Again, we expect that it’s only a matter of time until Meta adds this feature to the new platform, but it does highlight that the service lacks a lot of functionality on offer from Twitter.

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Twitter has a higher word count – if you’re verified

Meta confirmed that Threads posts will have up to a 500-character count limit. While it’s not yet known if verified users will have access to a higher character limit, we do know that verified Instagram users will be automatically verified on Threads. 

Twitter has kicked up a storm recently with its new Twitter Blue subscription service, which now requires users to pay a monthly fee to see the coveted Blue Tick verification. Unverified users on Twitter can post up to 280 characters, while verified accounts can include up to 25,000 characters per post. 

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Threads has launched without ads

Threads launched with no ads for its users, but since the platform is still very much in its early infancy, we can’t expect it to stay that way for too long. Meta has stated that ads may appear on the platform at some stage, which would line up with the advertisements shown on apps like Facebook and Instagram. 

Twitter does feature apps on its platform in different formats. Ads on Twitter appear with a ‘Promoted’ icon and can be Promoted Ads, Follower Ads or Trend Takeover. Even users that are verified see ads on Twitter, making it a vital part of the platform. 

Threads is a pretty barebones app at the moment, with no way to see any trending topics or users. When you sign up you are greeted with the standard scrolling experience on most social media apps as well as a search bar. 

Twitter is well known for its Trending feature, which displays popular topics in your area and across the world. Finding new users is made pretty easy thanks to this feature, but it’s expected that Threads will refine its app over its lifetime to make searching for new topics and users easier. 

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