Which of X aka Twitter, Threads, Mastodon or TikTok will take the number 1 slot?
The battle to see who will become the dominant conversational social network has been going on for a month now between X and Threads. In a surreal twist, it will even continue in the real ring, as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg meet for an MMA fight on August 26 in Las Vegas. Will this fight finally determine the winner ?
As you know, Twitter, now known as X, has been in turmoil for several months, between declining advertising revenues, colossal bills to pay and random decisions such as non-compliance with European anti-disinformation agreements, rebranding, X Blue subscriptions, checkmarks (certifications)….
Decisions that weaken the position and credibility of this conversational network with its audience, who could go to the competition.
One of X’s oldest rivals, the platform is a decentralized social network that promotes freedom of expression.
When Elon Musk bought Twitter, this social network saw a huge number of registrations, to the point of saturating its servers… But the situation has changed, to the point of losing over 30% of its audience in one month.
So is Mastodon a competitor to X?
Well, no. Although it operates in much the same way, its architecture poses a number of problems. Decentralization allows everyone to express themselves freely, thus avoiding censorship. The downside? Fake news and reprehensible content… shocking images and erroneous information proliferate faster than light on the site, up to 2,000 a day according to a study by David Thiel*.
The announcement of this challenger succeeded in upsetting the X giant. Threads, launched by Meta (Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp), opened its conversational platform at the beginning of July, but to what end?
In just a few days, the platform counted over 100 million users – a record, to be sure, but a short-lived one. Indeed, after 2 weeks, the platform saw its user numbers drop by 70%, or around 30 million people. Usage time also plummeted, from 20 minutes to 5. X, on the other hand, boasts 200 million users, who spend an average of 30 minutes on the app.
What’s more, its launch has been somewhat rushed. In Europe, for example, it is still not possible to access this social network, even using a VPN. The reason for this blockage is linked to the DSA law imposed by Brussels on the digital giants. The Digital Service Act is a regulation that forces platforms to deal with online abuses such as hateful content, disinformation, etc… Threads does not wish to launch until the platform meets the European requirements that will come into force in 2024. So according to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, we should see Threads available in a few months’ time, but that’s likely to be in 2024.
Threads had a meteoric rise before falling, but its results are very encouraging. Meta wants to give itself time to build up a solid community and comply with European laws, just the opposite of X, which is laying off its moderation teams. Threads therefore represent a real threat to X.
Yes, you read that right, TikTok is well and truly on the list of conversational network competitors. This feature, launched at the end of July, is currently being rolled out.
The aim is to enable creators to share their “poems”, “recipes” and “stories”.
Obviously, the addition of this feature is intended to be strategic, as the iconic network is being destabilized, so there may be a niche to fill.
This is interesting, as TikTok’s offer is increasingly complete, but it may not be enough. Indeed, as its users are not used to reading on the platform, it’s hard to imagine them using and appreciating this written format to the detriment of video, which requires less effort to enjoy the content offered by a creator.
Who will emerge victorious from the octagon?
Well, for the time being, it’s X. Threads is still too young to be a real challenger, and the other solutions are likely to remain alternatives.
The situation could change in the future if the European Union were to ban X for non-compliance with the Digital Services Act. Answer in 2024!