I introduce to you an unrestricted showdown between two billionaire tech tycoons, both contending for supremacy in the lucrative digital universe of Microblogging. It’s Zuckerberg versus Musk, Musk versus Zuckerberg; billions of dollars at stake in this clash of the titans, like Iron Man squaring off against the Terminator. Place your bets! But first, hear how the cards lie on both sides, and whether this fight serves for anything more than popcorn fodder.
So on one side, we have Elon Musk’s platform Twitter, the controversial and inventive entrepreneur who, upon buying it, fired 6500 people – that’s 80% of the workforce. Twitter, known for being a paradise for haters but also the most used public square in the world, is a platform that’s seen more ups and downs than a kangaroo on a trampoline. Last year, Twitter scored a whopping $4.5 billion in ad revenues. Impressive, right? Well, it seems the good times didn’t last. The Tesla founder, who pledged to turn Twitter into an open and uncensored space, started clipping the bird’s wings, reducing the number of tweets per user, and asking for verification – in other words, money – from the most avid users. Communication agencies that once filled Musk’s pockets started to desert, causing Twitter’s advertising revenues to drop to $3 billion by 2023. That slump would make even the most seasoned Wall Street wolf howl.
Meanwhile, the inscrutable challenger, Mark Zuckerberg of Meta, parent company of Facebook and Instagram, capitalized on Twitter’s hemorrhaging to suck up the spilled blood of its rival like a vampire. After all, Zuckerberg is a master at cloning his rivals: Instagram leaped forward when it copied Snapchat’s stories and TikTok’s Reels. So, backed by that great empire of two billion monthly users of Instagram – that’s like the combined population of India and the United States – Threads burst onto the social media scene like a triumphant star. Instagram users could absorb their Instagram followers into their new Threads accounts, so no more painfully waiting for your follower community to grow. So, in just 24 hours, Threads shot to fame wherever it premiered – that is, all across the Americas and in large parts of Asia, but not in Europe where it had to wait for permission. You know how we Europeans are legal purists. Like a phoenix, Zuckerberg’s new creation left rivals like Mastodon and Bluesky in the dust. It’s like Threads ran a marathon while everyone else was still tying their shoelaces.
Alright, what does this mad dash mean? Well, some predict that if Twitter looks like the Titanic after hitting an iceberg, Threads would be the shiny new cruise ship ready to pick up any passenger willing to jump ship from Twitter. That’s the bet, not just on the networks, but also in the financial markets, with money changing hands from Elon to Mark.
Heads up: while many people want to hop on the Threads bandwagon, the truth is this network has a lot of redundancies, little originality, and certainly has some teething problems – for example, I don’t see any trends anywhere. So what would be Threads’ comparative advantage? For now: no limit on the number of messages and no ads. Meta said they’ll start putting ads when they surpass the billion-user mark.
Okay, what does all this have to do with you, you might ask…Well, if you’re watching this, it’s because you’re interested in networks, right? Okay, let’s talk business. If you’re a company looking to maximize your impact on social networks, you might be eyeing Threads like a lion eyeing its prey. With Meta’s massive user base – that’s Facebook and Instagram – and its sharp advertising tools, it seems like a no-brainer. But here’s a tip straight from the social media manual: Don’t put all your tweets in one basket.
Maintaining a presence on both platforms could be your golden ticket. You’ll be able to reach Twitter’s loyal and sizable user base while also testing the fresh and unknown waters of Threads. It’s like having a foot in two parallel universes. Exciting, right?
Now, if you’re a private user, this face-off between these microblogging social networks may seem more confusing than a Rubik’s cube. On one hand, there’s Twitter, the platform you know and love – or maybe love to hate, as I do. On the other hand, there’s Threads, the new kid on the block that promises to be the next big thing. And I get it, it’s not easy. It’s like choosing between your grandma’s pie and the one on offer at the bakery.
My advice? Try both. Give Threads a chance, but don’t be too hasty in deleting your Twitter account. After all, who knows? Maybe you’ll find that you enjoy the versatility and numerous resources offered by the Twitter platform. Or perhaps Threads turns out to be your Instagram soulmate.
Okay, enough, the truth is that social networks are taking up too much of our time, so we better see if we really need another one: what for and why. If not, good for you. Skip them… Grab a beer or a coffee and talk to the humans around you instead of getting hooked on the screen. Because, you know… they won’t only take your time, but they’ll use your data, because nothing is free on the Internet. Twitter and Threads, both will suck up everything you post and then sell it to the insatiable monsters of Artificial Intelligence. Regardless of whether you’re a user of Twitter or Threads, the Musk-Zuckerberg saga will surely be entertaining, so don’t forget to sit back, grab some popcorn, and enjoy the show. Because let’s be clear, who doesn’t love a good billionaire fight?