There’s no doubt that social media hype is the highest we have ever seen it, maybe even to a comical degree- we are waiting with baited breath to see if the Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerburg cage match will actually happen.
For PR professionals, the list of apps we need to use to keep up with and communicate with our clients and journalist contacts just keeps growing. Telegram, Discord, Signal, Mastodon, Bluesky, Instagram, Twitter… on and on. However, one recent addition has caused more than its fair share of drama when it launched- and certainly didn’t help the cage match tensions- Meta’s new public conversation app, Threads. In just five days after its launch, Threads had garnered over 100 million users and royally ticked off Elon Musk in the process, as Twitter currently has about 250 million active users.
Ever since Musk’s purchase of Twitter last October, the app’s most popular topics have been itself, its owner, and all the issues users have with the changes to the platform; we even covered brands and media leaving on this very blog earlier this year. However, no truly viable competitor has come up prior, with many journalists grumbling and groaning but continuing to begrudgingly use the bird app. Once Threads launched, journalists jumped at the opportunity to try out a new platform with no history of silencing critics or suspending accounts for no clear reason. The only problem seemed to be that few were willing to go cold turkey on the bird, and many felt as though they were using the different platforms for the same purpose.
This begs the question for PR professionals: when are we oversaturated with sources to acquire content? More importantly, is that even a possibility?
On one hand, the more sources for information, stories, content, and connection, the better. We want to be able to use as many venues for outreach and research as possible, we want access to news as soon as it happens, and we want to be able to view all the reactions and opinions in real-time. In order to achieve that, we need to use as many platforms as we can, so the more the merrier.
On the other hand, social media gets a bad reputation for housing and enabling the sharing of unverified information, so it can be difficult to wade through what is truth, lies, opinions, assumptions, or just plain made up. The more outlets that people have access to share and post on, the more places for falsehoods or scams to be spread, and we’ve needed to adapt a reminder for ourselves that “just because you read it on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true”. Additionally, some apps have made it easy for bullies and internet trolls to hide behind fake accounts in order to harass users “anonymously”. This in particular has been a major complaint point about Twitter from journalists and fintech influencers in the space alike, especially as mainstream popularity of the topics we focus on has grown.
So where do we land on the Twitter vs. Threads vs. all the others beef?
Ultimately, social media platform use is a personal preference, but we see value in dabbling in, or at least checking in on, all outlets where our sources, clients, and brands are participating. A large consideration for the industries we participate in is related to trying out new things, embracing the growth of technology, and being open to change, so how can we advocate for that through our clients if we can’t (or won’t) keep up ourselves?
At the very least, we recommend keeping an eye on both Threads and Twitter if for no other reason than to be in the loop on all the most important cage match updates.