The battle for social media supremacy is heating up as Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino faces reports of declining traffic due to the emergence of Threads, a new rival launched by Meta. While Yaccarino denies the claims, concerns about the potential threat posed by Threads are palpable within the company. Recent observations reveal that Twitter appears to be selectively blocking links to the Threads.net website, making it more challenging for users to find conversations or access user profiles.
Twitter’s Selective Link Blocking
Tech enthusiast Andy Baio recently discovered that Twitter seems to be blocking links to Threads.net in its search results. Previously, a simple search operator like “url:threads.net” would display tweets containing links to the specified website. However, this operator no longer returns any results. While Twitter’s motivations behind this selective blocking remain unclear, it indicates a strategic move by the platform to limit the visibility of Threads-related discussions.
Elon Musk’s History of Blocking Competitor Links
This isn’t the first time Elon Musk’s Twitter has engaged in blocking competitor links. When newsletter platform Substack introduced its discussions feature, Substack Notes, Twitter restricted interactions with those links. However, the current block on Threads-related content doesn’t go as far, at least not yet. Tensions between Musk and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg have escalated recently, with Musk even challenging Zuckerberg to a “cage match” and resorting to name-calling on Twitter.
Linda Yaccarino’s Reassurances Amidst Traffic Concerns
While Musk and Zuckerberg engage in a war of words, Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino takes a less antagonistic approach. She reassures advertisers by highlighting Twitter’s recent surge in traffic.
“Don’t want to leave you hanging by a thread…but Twitter, you really outdid yourselves! Last week we had our largest usage day since February,” she wrote. “There’s only ONE Twitter. You know it. I know it,” she added, in her not-too-subtle reference to Threads.
However, her statements contradict reports of declining web traffic in the days following Threads’ launch. Data from Similarweb indicates a 5% decline in Twitter’s web traffic during Threads’ initial availability period compared to the previous week. Additionally, traffic was reportedly down 11% compared to the same period in 2022.
— Matthew Prince 🌥 (@eastdakota) July 9, 2023
Threads’ Rapid Rise and Uncertain Future
Despite Threads’ impressive start, leveraging Instagram’s social graph to rapidly scale its user base, the long-term future of the app remains uncertain. The initial surge in demand often fades once the experimentation phase ends, as seen with the decline of Mastodon, an open-source Twitter rival. However, Mastodon has recently experienced a slight resurgence, capitalizing on Twitter’s challenges. Elon Musk’s decision to limit the number of readable tweets further contributed to the social media landscape’s upheaval.
The Race for Dominance Continues
As Meta’s Instagram Threads surpasses milestones, reaching 100 million users in a mere five days, the competition intensifies. Twitter’s struggles and its response to Threads’ emergence demonstrate the fierce battle for users’ attention and engagement. The clash between these tech giants, marked by name-calling and strategic moves, reflects the ever-evolving nature of the social media landscape. With each player vying for dominance, only time will tell which platform will ultimately prevail.
Twitter’s clash with Instagram Threads and Meta highlights the dynamic nature of the social media landscape. Reports of declining traffic, selective link blocking, and executive feuds underscore the intensifying competition between these tech giants. While Linda Yaccarino reassures advertisers about Twitter’s traffic, the impact of Threads cannot be ignored. As the battle continues to unfold, users are left to witness the evolution of these platforms and the ever-changing landscape of social media dominance.