Tech & The Web

Why Threads Became My Favorite of the Twitter Alternatives

Golden three-dimensional Threads logoDeposit Photos

After trying plenty of the Twitter alternatives out there, the relatively new platform Threads has risen to the top of the heap for me.

It is not difficult these days to find a social media platform hoping to replace X, formerly Twitter, as a “go-to” place for expression and connection. Since Elon Musk took over, we’ve found plenty of things to complain about. I’ve tried several platforms that seem to be hoping X users will come to them instead. Of the alternatives I have tried so far, Threads jumped ahead of others that I thought I would like better.

A tale of growth vs non-growth

When it comes to social media platforms, I have the same problem you have. I just can’t be everywhere at the same time. I have to budget the little free time I have. Social media platforms want their users to spend hours at a time on their properties. Unfortunately, when you belong to several different ones, that’s not possible.

As you can see on my sidebar, I have a Facebook page for this site, an I’m on X, Instagram, BlueSky, Mastodon, Post Social and Tribel. I try to post interesting content on those platforms as often as I can. In some cases — whenever it’s possible — I try to schedule content I think people will be interested in. But not all platforms make scheduling easy — or even possible.

Threads, unfortunately, is one of those platforms…at least for now. That means that when I want to post there, I have to go there. If I’m going to invest that extra time, I’m going to hope I see results of that effort faster.

I decided to see what growth I was finding on several of the platforms just to see where the growth is happening.

I joined Twitter more than 15 years ago, back in November of 2008. In that time, I’ve amassed 3,445 followers. But a couple of months ago, when I made the initial notes for this post, I actually showed 30 more than that. It may be that Twitter is cracking down on spam accounts. It may be that some of my followers got fed up enough to leave. Or, it could be a combination. In any case, while minute, I’ve lost a bit of ground on that platform. In any case, if I divide 3,445 by 15, I get about 230. That doesn’t mean I picked up 230 followers a year, but it’s the only practical way to see a years-on-to-followers ratio.

Here’s how the others look:

  • BlueSky – Joined: Aug. 6, 2023; Followers: 35
  • Mastodon – Joined: Feb. 20, 2023; Followers: 23
  • Post Social – Joined: Jan. 11, 2023; Followers: 52
  • Threads – Joined: July 5, 2023; Followers: 376
  • Tribel– Joined: Jan. 11, 2024; Followers: 8

As you can see, the numbers are quite jarring. You can also see how much more growth happened on Threads than anywhere else.

I know, I know…there’s a ‘yeah, but’ when it comes to Threads

Meta owns Threads. They also own Facebook and Instagram. Threads stands as a sister site to Instagram, which meant that when Threads launched, a bunch of Instagram followers had a quick and easy way to also follow you there.

In a way, yes, that’s cheating. That initial influx of followers whenever one joins does give something of an unfair advantage. I wouldn’t pretend otherwise.

But I would also point out that it was only five weeks ago when I posted a thank you to the 250 people who had followed me. So in just five weeks, a little more than a month, I’ve picked up an additional 176 followers.

That’s growth that the other platforms don’t match combined.

It’s also about interaction

I like Post Social because it seems to be friendlier than X. I could say the same thing about BlueSky.

Of all of the so-called Twitter alternatives, BlueSky looks the most familiar. It’s almost a clone of Twitter, which isn’t surprising since it was created by the same folks. BlueSky hurt itself by taking forever to open registration. For far too long, it not only required an invite code but it made the invite code almost impossible to get. A friend sent me one after I complained about waiting months for a response from the company. It was only after I had already joined that BlueSky itself sent one.

As easy as BlueSky is to use, the interactions aren’t there yet. The number of followers is low as well.

Post Social looks more like Facebook, I suppose, but the interactions there seem to be among the friendliest. Still, it’s slow-growing. And Post doesn’t allow scheduling on its platform. So you have to go there regularly to maintain a presence.

I could certainly be better at maintaining a consistent presence at other platforms. If I had to guess, most of us could reasonably admit to that.

At the same time, if Threads is getting a decent interaction on posts and I’m growing followers that quickly, it makes sense to me to make that one the platform I’m focusing the majority of my “extra” time on.

Which social platform gives you the most value right now?

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.

1 Comment

  • Right now, I still get the most engagement with Twitter. There’s a certain inertia to starting over on any social network. I simply have an order of magnitude more followers there so not only does the algorithm view my posts more favorably, but there’s just more potential followers to see them.

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