Twitter’s new CEO Linda Yaccarino is stressing her platform as a source for real-time information following Meta’s Threads’ exceptional growth with millions registered users the first day after launch. Studies have stressed Twitter as a source for news with for example 14 % of Americans regularly using Twitter as a source for news. Speculation has started if Threads can be a source for news and news media.
There are 2.35 billion active users of Instagram and Facebook is in surveys noted as the most important social media platform for news.
Pew Research Center says Americans use established social media sites for news, including Facebook (31%) and YouTube (25%). Number three as a news source is Twitter (14%), Instagram (13%) and TikTok (10%). Fewer regularly get news from LinkedIn (4%), Snapchat (4%), Nextdoor (4%), WhatsApp (3%) or Twitch (1%). Only around 6% says that they use smaller, alternative social media to get news.
“When looking at the proportion of each social media site’s users who regularly get news there, some sites stand out as having a greater portion of users turning to the site for news even if their total audience is relatively small”, Pew Research says.
“For example, while Twitter is used by about three-in-ten U.S. adults (27%), about half of its users (53%) turn to the site to regularly get news there.”
Women make up a greater portion of regular news consumers on Facebook, while the opposite is true for Twitter and Reddit. 94% of journalists in the U.S. use social media for their job. Twitter is the number one, Pew Research shows.
Meta’s Instagram for sure has the users and, as Threads is a kind of sidekick to Instagram. The Instagram account works in a log in to Threads where posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos. Videos can be up to 5 minutes long.
But Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s description of what Threads will be does not really make you think about hard news:
“The goal is to keep it friendly as it expands … That’s one reason why Twitter never succeeded as much as I think it should have, and we want to do it differently.”
Twitter’s CEO Linda Yaccarino tweeted:
“On Twitter, everyone’s voice matters. Whether you’re here to watch history unfold, discover REAL-TIME information all over the world, share your opinions, or learn about others — on Twitter YOU can be real. YOU built the Twitter community. And that’s irreplaceable. This is your public square. We’re often imitated — but the Twitter community can never be duplicated.”
Musk’s lawyer is reported to have accused Meta of stealing trade secrets by hiring former Twitter-staffers to develop Threads. Musk fired a large part of the Twitter staff when he took over the company.
To this should be noted that TikTok’s success in getting users has meant that a large number of serious news media is on the platform to reach the younger audience that the Chinese-owned social media has.
Threads’ impressive growth in just the first 24 hours could mean the news media have to be also there.