Twitter is reportedly blocking links to its new rival, Meta’s Threads.
Reports started surfacing on Monday that Twitter was selectively blocking links to Mark Zuckerberg’s latest social networking app. Users noted that while some links worked, others noticeably did not.
The move means it will be more difficult for people to track down conversations on Threads and locate users’ profiles.
Why we care. Since Threads launched on July 5, the app has become the fastest-growing social media platform in history and trending regularly on Twitter. Experts believe the decision to block selected links to Threads in Twitter search results is an attempt to keep users engaged on the platform rather than move away to its rival.
What have people said? American technologist and blogger, Andy Baio, was one of the many people on Twitter to notice that selected links to Threads weren’t working. He confirmed the problem after conducting a search query using the operator “url:threads.net”. After this search failed to serve any results, he shared his findings on Threads:
- “Twitter is selectively blocking searches for tweets that link to Threads, even though they allow posting Threads URLs (for now).”
However, Baio shared a technique that users can implement to prevent the block:
- “Clever workaround via @kepner, you can quote the domain name and remove the period to bypass the block.”
- “Adding “filter:follows” and clicking Latest will show you everyone you follow who has posted links to Threads.”
In an exchange with The Messenger, Baio described the move by Twitter as “anti-competitive”. He said:
- “Hiding tweets about Threads seems fully in line with Twitter’s new anti-competitive stance, creating a fully walled garden that blocks open expression while hypocritically claiming to promote free speech.”
What has Twitter said? Twitter is evidently taking people’s concerns extremely seriously. So much so, the platform responded to our request for comment with a poop emoji, perhaps indicating that it is now in fight or flight mode in response to Thread’s soaring popularity.
Twitter owner Elon Musk has also addressed the increasingly tense rivalry between himself and Meta CEO Zuckerberg. Earlier this week, when Threads sign-ups surpassed the 100 million mark, the billionaire tweeted “Zuck is a cuck.”
He then reassured his loyal army of followers that he is not remotely threatened by Zuckerberg by proposing “a literal d*ck measuring contest”. In case anyone was confused by the word “measuring,” he added an emoji of a ruler for clarification.
Get the daily newsletter search marketers rely on.
Twitter blocks unregistered users and Google Search. It seems Musk isn’t trolling his good friend Zuckerbeg, he may have his finger hovering over the block button as in addition to restricting links to Threads, he also blocked unregistered users and Google Search last week. As a result, there was a 62% drop in index saturation by Google of Twitter.com.
This was another move by Twitter that may be of huge concern to marketers as it could impact reach for brands that may rely heavily on visibility in Google Search. It also means that some older tweets which may have historically always ranked well in Google Search, may see a dive in rankings and therefore reach and CTR.
Deep dive. During Threads’ first two days of operation, Twitter traffic was down 5% in comparison to the same period a week earlier. It was also 11% down compared to the same period a year earlier. Read the full SimilarWeb analytics report to find out how Twitter and Threads are competing against each other.