Social media is an important part of any business’s digital marketing. It provides a way to talk to your audience instantly, not only your existing customers but hundreds of potential ones too. But with so many different social media platforms out there, it can be confusing to know which to use. In this series, we are going to compare and contrast some of the options for social media for pet businesses. At the time of writing, the apps we are going to look at here are relatively new – Threads and X.
What is X?
X is the rebrand for the successful social media site, Twitter. This means the original Twitter logo (blue bird) has now gone. At the moment X is no different to Twitter, however, things may change over the coming months under CEO Elon Musk. It is thought that X has nearly 400 million monthly active users from its time as Twitter, but it remains to be seen whether these user numbers will stay consistent once Musk makes the proposed changes to the social media platform.
Twitter had always worked on the basis of short snappy posts, no more than 140 characters in length (like birds tweeting backwards and forwards). It rose to popularity on this basis, helped by many celebrities and politicians becoming regular users. It features a vertical timeline with posts displayed in the order in which they were created. But Twitter evolved, with posters being able to share hours of video and other items.
However, Musk has plans to shake things up and make X the new ‘everything app’. Musk says that he will add “comprehensive communications and the ability to conduct your entire financial world” to the X app. Super apps like this are popular in Asia but have yet to be widely adopted by the Western world.
- X has all the potential of its existing Twitter users (Twitter user’s apps have automatically updated to X).
- It is going to evolve into a revolutionary new style of app (a ‘super app’) which could attract many newer users.
- The thought is that you should be able to do everything via the app that you might normally do online such as access podcasts, shop, watch videos and do banking.
- Super apps are a popular concept in Asia, so with the right development, could have great potential in other countries too.
- We are yet to see the changes Musk will make to X and how compatible it will be for marketing your business through.
- We don’t yet know how the change from Twitter to X will affect user numbers and age demographics.
- There is concern that users could be confused by the app.
- Advertisers are backing away from X, which may mean users have to pay for some subscription-based content in the future.
What is Threads?
Threads is a relatively new platform and hopes to fill the gap that Twitter might end up leaving behind. It is a new social media app developed by Meta, launched in July 2023. The app was created by the team behind Instagram, and it allows users to make posts up to 500 characters and allows videos of up to 5 minutes in length, as well as photos and links. It has been marketed as an app to use alongside Instagram, which means an active Instagram account is needed to access Threads. However, with 2 billion active Instagram users each month, this means that Threads could have great potential.
After a very successful launch, Threads has encountered some issues with app engagement falling. This indicates a potential issue with people spending less and less time on the app which is obviously a problem when it comes to using it as a digital marketing aid. User numbers went from 44 million daily users around its launch in July to 10 million in August 2023.
- Threads is integrated with Instagram meaning a large potential user base – this probably accounted for its initial launch success.
- It may fill the gap that Twitter leaves behind, if people leave due to the rebrand
- Threads could be a good platform for short, snappy posts.
- It also allows other content to be posted – short videos and photos which might be useful when advertising your business.
- Is a very new social media app so we don’t yet know how successful it will be longer term.
- Current data points to active users dropping away.
- You have to have an Instagram account in order to use Threads which may put some people off.
- Threads lacks some of the other features found on other social media platforms such as private messaging functions, hashtags and trending stories.
So, which is best – Threads or X?
In my opinion, it is very hard to decide between these two when it comes to social media for pet businesses currently. It is still very early days, with both X and Threads in their infancy, albeit with a source of ready-made users lined up (via Twitter and Instagram). X has the potential to be big, but equally, it could fail if users become confused by the app or if the platform struggles to get advertisers. Threads showed great initial success, due to the vast number of active Instagram users. It could end up filling the gap that Twitter has left behind, but at the moment it appears there is something that users aren’t enjoying, with engagement dropping.
So, if you are looking to advertise your pet business through social media, I would stick to spending your valuable time and money on some of the older apps for now (think Facebook, Instagram or YouTube), at least until we have some more information. Unless of course, you want to experiment!