Meta’s Threads is the next in a long line of Twitter clones. Meta claims they are not trying to replace Twitter or directly court news media to Threads, but political content is still one of the main drivers of social media content creation in the US and “Twitter is the go-to social media site for U.S. journalists.”
If Threads wants to be the dominant social platform for “the discourse,” they will need political reporters to post original content, break news, and drive engagement.
After surpassing 100 million users in the first few days, are Twitter’s days as the home of political news coming to an end? We looked at the posting content over the past 2 weeks for political reporters on Twitter, and the past week on Threads to start understanding what kind of impact the new platform has had on their activity.
Less than half of DC political reporters have created and used Threads since it launched. These reporters are also using Threads far less than they use Twitter, posting five times as frequently on Twitter per day.
Reporters that appeared more active or are verified on Instagram were quicker to adopt and post frequently on Threads, but are using it less than they use Twitter. Although there are fewer posts on Threads, those posts gain far more “likes” on average than Tweets, suggesting that future engagement on the platform could be very high.
Will Threads usage for political reporters increase or decrease over time? Many have joked about the key Threads features that would make it more like Twitter like chronological feed and desktop app, that if released could lead to higher usage and more adoption. For now, Threads appears to still have a long way to go before it can be viewed as a place for breaking political news and driving the conversation on public policy issues.
We used C-Span’s Twitter list of 137 DC political reporters and identified if they had an Instagram or Thread account under their real name. We then analyzed their 4,635 Twitter posts from June 27 through July 12, and 611 Threads posts from July 5 through July 12.