How Threads and X Users Are Different

Roughly a month following Threads’ launch, its users are differentiating themselves from those of X in terms of who they are and what they believe, writes tech analyst Jordan Marlatt
Shares of Threads users who describe themselves as the following, by gender, generation, race/ethnicity, education, political party and income:
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Source: Morning Consult Brand Intelligence

August 14, 2023 at 5:00 am UTC

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In early July, Meta launched Threads, its Twitter (now X) look-alike with a self-described mission to be a more positive place than the platform it’s emulating. Its release provided X and former Twitter users an outlet to experience a more nostalgic version of Twitter with stricter rules around content and without X’s pay-to-play verification system. Turns out, according to a recent Morning Consult analysis, that this message particularly resonates with disaffected Twitter users

Threads users tend to be younger and more educated

Despite being similar platforms in function, just over a month in, users of Threads and X are looking quite different from one another. A profile analysis of each platform’s users shows that users of Threads are more likely to:

  • be Gen Z adults or millennials
  • have an advanced degree
  • earn higher income
  • describe themselves as more politically moderate than X users. 

X users, in the meantime, are much more likely to describe themselves as conservative. 

What we do that’s different: Brand data used in this analysis is available exclusively in Morning Consult Intelligence, an exclusive online platform tracking consumer attitudes daily on key indicators for nearly 4,000 brands in 40+ markets.

What Morning Consult Intelligence tracks: Globally, we ask consumers daily about awareness, trust, purchasing behaviors, favorability, net promoter score and buzz. This depth and frequency offers an exclusive, real-time pulse identifying changes in consumer opinion.

Since Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter in October of last year, the platform has taken a much more relaxed approach to content moderation, which had the effect of driving away cautious advertisers. This also created an online space for conservative speech to flourish in the mainstream, and in the months following, regular Morning Consult tracking is indicating that perceptions among Republicans that tech has a positive impact on political discourse have steadily increased. 

Presently, X has a tendency to draw more attention as a politically charged brand than Threads, but this could change as the user bases for each platform evolve. Threads’ seeming appeal to liberal and moderate users in juxtaposition to X’s appeal to conservative users — as well as Musk’s sympathetic approach to right-wing talking points — may very well be forming the early stages of a politically split internet where people don’t just exist in their own bubbles within a single platform, but on different platforms entirely.

This memo utilizes data from Morning Consult Brand Intelligence, our flagship platform that every day asks thousands of consumers about core metrics for over 4,000 brands and products around the world. MCBI subscribers can further explore the data here. To learn more about MCBI, request a demo here.

A headshot photograph of Jordan Marlatt
Jordan Marlatt
Lead Tech Analyst

Jordan Marlatt previously worked at Morning Consult as a lead tech analyst.

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