Spill Vs. Threads: Here's What To Know About The Apps That Could Have The Potential To Rival Twitter
Culture & Entertainment

Spill Vs. Threads: Here's What To Know About The Apps That Could Have The Potential To Rival Twitter

After Elon Musk took over Twitter, he has taken it through many changes, from capping how many tweets verified and unverified Twitter users can see per day to its most recent rebrand, “X.” Many of the baffling changes have left users looking for other options, and thus Spill and Threads entered the chat.

These two separate social media sites quickly gained popularity over the last month as many people began signing up with hopes of having a fresh start and a more satisfying experience. But what are Spill and Threads? We take a deep dive into the two social media platforms that rival the once-beloved Twitter.

What Is Spill?

Spill is Black-owned, and it was created by two former Twitter employees, Alphonzo “Phonz” Terrell and DeVaris Brown. The invite-only platform launched in June, and at the top of July, it became the No. 1 app in the Apple App Store. The site, which is still in beta, describes itself as a “visual conversation at the speed of culture,” which is different than text-driven Twitter.

Instead of text, Spill uses photos, videos, and GIFs with a text overlay. It’s also limited to 90 characters. Because Spill was created with the culture in mind, it has served as a safe space for Black people online. Even the name Spill comes from the popular Black and LGBTQ+ phrase, “spill the tea.” One of the ways the co-founders are doing it for the culture is by giving credit where credit is due. More often than not, we have seen many Black content creators not get credit or compensated for their viral posts. Spill is looking to change that.

In an interview with AfroTech, Terrell dished on inclusion and the importance of providing compensation for viral posts. “Compensation starts with getting credit,” Terrell said. “Who originated this and that’s always been a really big challenge online. So, that’s why we looked at technologies like blockchain. We can create an immutable record, regardless if you’re on the platform or not, of who created what.”

He continued, “On the compensation part, it’s definitely not an easy thing to solve from jump, but what we’re sort of trying to do is take a learned approach because one of the things that we didn’t expect was people using so many visuals on the platform, like the meme formats and everything. So it’s a different type of model that we’re actually exploring and sort of building in… Our vision is to make it such that there’s a way to earn from an ongoing basis.”

What Is Threads?

When Threads launched, it quickly became the talk of the town after having 100 million users sign up. The Meta app has a lot of similarities to Twitter such as text-based posts, reposting and quoting other Threads’ posts and it has a 500-character limit. And, because it was made by Instagram, it allows you to share Threads’ posts to your Instagram Stories.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared a Threads post following the launch. “The vision for Threads is to create an option and friendly public space for conversation,” he wrote. “We hope to take what Instagram does best and create a new experience around text, ideas, and discussing what’s on your mind.”

Threads is easy to sign up for, however, you do need an Instagram account first. Also, if you decide to delete your Threads account, you will also have to delete your Instagram account. But users have the option to deactivate their Threads account without deactivating Instagram. Because it's still new, there are a few things that haven’t been rolled out yet such as direct messaging, hashtags, and more.

Be that as it may, Meta announced an update that users have been asking for, a “Following” tab. The Following tab allows users to see chronological posts from their followers and users can also sort through their “Activity” feed by likes, reposts, and quotes.

Only time will tell if either app has what it takes to overtake Twitter as a dominant text social media platform. While both Threads and Spill have welcomed immediate success, mostly due to Twitter’s demise, they still have to prove if whether they have staying power. A recent report revealed that despite Threads’ 100 million users, the platform’s engagement has already significantly declined.

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Feature image by Xavier Lorenzo/ Getty Images

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