X (formerly Twitter), Threads, and Bluesky: What’s the vibe on these three networks?

The micro-blogging network X, previously known as Twitter, will soon celebrate its 18th anniversary. Long the sole dominator of its niche, it has seen the emergence in 2023 of various competitors offering a similar experience. Here’s an overview of the atmosphere on X, as well as on two competing platforms.

  • Finding a niche on X

Yes, on X, there is a constant stream of hateful comments. And yes, there is a lot of misinformation circulating on X. The platform’s remuneration model implemented under Elon Musk has even been criticized for encouraging the latter. Nevertheless, it is still possible to take advantage of the network and have an interesting experience.

Obviously, a basic rule is to avoid the comment sections under the accounts of media and politicians. Also, be aware that any message you post can become the subject of insults. Martin Matte once said in a show that even if he wrote a simple “Let’s love one another, have a good day” on Facebook, it led to insults. This is not an exaggeration in the case of X either.

However, X remains the favorite platform for media and politicians, who continue to broadcast official announcements and last-minute news. By avoiding involvement in the acrimonious debates they can generate, X allows one to stay informed in real-time about major events in our world. But it is essential to be able to trust the information being shared. Hence the importance of choosing sources wisely.

In addition to following the news, it is still possible to engage in interesting discussions without risking insults. This can be achieved by participating in discussions on more niche topics that appeal less to emotions. Topics related to marketing are good examples.

Enthusiasts in the field can follow recognized experts who are very active on the platform, such as Neil Patel, Rand Fishkin, or Isabelle Mathieu. These accounts, which share knowledge on SEO, content marketing, or web analytics, are much less prone to disrespectful comments. Note, however, that X does not have the exclusive presence of these accounts on its platform.

Therefore, for users who know how to choose the accounts and topics to be interested in, it is possible to have a pleasant experience and find value on X. However, for advertisers, the situation does not improve. Even before Elon Musk’s acquisition, Twitter was far from offering the most interesting advertising platform. The situation has deteriorated since.

Now, there are all kinds of shady advertisements on it, some even accompanied by warnings added by users, as well as sexually explicit ads. Add to that the omnipresence of bots, a phenomenon that X is trying to combat, and the generally hostile atmosphere, and you end up with a platform that is unattractive for advertisers.

So, X is like a party with a ton of people, but it’s starting to drag. Several guests have already left, others are clearly tipsy, and you have to look hard to find guests with whom to continue the evening in fun and respect.

  • The allure of novelty in Threads

In the summer of 2023, the Threads platform was launched. It immediately gained strong popularity, and several public figures and organizations joined.

By the fall, the excitement for Threads had diminished, due to the lack of as many interactions and real-time information as X. However, life picked up on the network at the end of the year when Europeans were able to join the experience.

On Threads, the atmosphere is friendly, sometimes even a bit too consensual. A cousin of Instagram and Meta, Threads is very visual. The platform is particularly interesting for following content on sports and the arts. Several marketing and communications experts are also present and active, as well as major media outlets. Since the recent conflict between Israel and Palestine, several journalists have also joined Threads.

Politicians are also present, but in smaller numbers than on X. The platform is therefore entertaining, the atmosphere is friendly (for how long?), but less relevant for someone who wants to be informed in real-time and follow political debates.

There is no advertising as such on Threads, but several brands are present, followed by millions of subscribers in some cases.

Threads is like a party where guests get to know each other in joy, and where the atmosphere gradually begins to settle. Let’s hope the evening doesn’t degenerate.

  • The calm of Bluesky

Just like Threads, Bluesky experienced enthusiasm last summer, and just like Threads, the network went through a quiet period afterward. Tired of their experience on X, several users opened an account on Bluesky as soon as they had the privilege of receiving an invitation. Led, among others, by Jack Dorsey, the former founder of Twitter, Bluesky, however, did not experience the surge in popularity seen on Threads currently. A variety of accounts opened by early users have been inactive for months.

However, active users on Bluesky often act as ambassadors for the platform. They believe in its potential and get involved to make the experience found there interesting. The conversations are often longer between users, unlike X or Threads, where exchanges are generally brief.

Despite the harmony that prevails, the lack of action and interactions hinders the experience, especially if one is looking to converse in French. It is also challenging to find relevant accounts to follow, as the suggestions offered by the platform are not particularly related to one’s interests.

Bluesky is therefore like an intimate party where people prefer the quality of guests over their quantity, but where a little more action wouldn’t hurt.