A free social application
X, formerly known as Twitter, is a free social and communication app that lets you post GIFs, pictures, links, polls, text, and videos to a profile in posts that are formerly called ‘tweets’. Your posts will appear on your profile, newsfeed, and the feeds of the people following you. You can also follow people and get followed by other users.
Fleets were removed from X. The fleets were fleeting posts only available for 24 hours to let people know what was happening in their lives. Snapchat created the stories model that Facebook and Instagram followed, along with this platform.
Easy to navigate and use
X is easy to use thanks to the icon bar at the bottom of the app’s homescreen. The home button directs you to your newsfeed, which shows posts from the people you follow. If you’re looking for something specific, you can click the magnifying glass icon to search for accounts, keywords, and topics that you want to see. Meanwhile, the bell image enables you to see your recent notifications, while your direct messages are available in the envelope section of the menu bar.
To make a post, simply tap on the plus icon at the bottom right of the screen. Basic users are given 280 characters to fill their post and as they write, a circular loading bar will slowly fill up to indicate the length of their post. It will then turn orange once you have 20 characters left and then red once you reach zero. A negative number will appear after each additional character you type in the red zone.
You can add media to your posts such as images and videos from your local device. You can also add a GIF from the app’s library. Another element you can put on your post are polls, which require a minimum of two choices. You can voice a question and potential responses of up to four different answers. As users vote, the polls will automatically show the percentage for each choice. You can determine the length of days, hours, and minutes the poll is up for.
The app allows you to determine the length of days, hours, and minutes the poll is up for. However, one downside of the four option limit is that it will be difficult to make quick surveys that have more than four choices. That means you’ll have to make multiple posts with polls to accommodate the number of options you want. Another consideration to keep in mind is that results from X polls may not accurately reflect the opinions of individuals, given that anyone can make multiple accounts and use them to vote.
Control your interactions and posts
X allows you to decide who can see and interact with you by enabling you to set your profile on public or private. Putting your profile in private restricts non-followers from viewing your posts and your mutuals from quote-reposting your posts. The app also empowers you to limit the people who can reply to your posts by letting you choose between the following options: everyone, verified accounts, accounts you follow, and only accounts you mention.
The app’s desktop version allows you to schedule posts, which are great for making announcements at a certain date and time. However, this feature is not available for mobile devices, which is a hassle since you’ll have to switch to a computer or laptop. One workaround to this issue is to use a third-party social media tool like Planable, which allows you to schedule and publish posts.
Is X free?
While X is free, the platform has advertisements on your timeline as presented as promoted posts. The ads can come from accounts you do not follow, and you can tell that the posts are ads when a Promoted icon is displayed alongside them. These ads are no longer limited to brands or companies endorsing their products or services, since anyone can run promotions as long as they abide by the platform’s policies.
Basic users will see a lot of ads on X, and sometimes they also appear in threads of conversations. Some users find this fact annoying since promotions constantly appear on their timelines while the ones that appear in thread conversations cause confusion since those ads are often not related to the topic. However, subscribing to the platform’s premium version enables users to see up to 50% less ads.
Censored profiles and posts
X has become known for censoring profiles and posts, as it is often filled with hostile conversations. Since this app has removed accounts during periods of debate, the tech company has elevated, instead of alleviated, societal tensions. The marketing around the brand tries to incite trust, yet a deeper look reveals biased actions and intentions. For a forum that promotes free speech, you can try Parler, an alternative to this app.
X search is for registered users only
In the past, X allowed both registered and unregistered users to utilize a search field. However, this functionality has since been discontinued. When you visit the X website without logging in, unregistered users are limited to browsing the Explore tab, which offers a curated selection of posts. The X search field is now exclusively accessible after signing in to your account.
Rebrand to ‘X’
Following Elon Musk’s takeover of the app, it has been renamed from “Twitter” to “X” and the lively, little blue bird has been replaced with a rather drab X icon. Other brand- and terminology-related changes were implemented, as well, such as replacing “tweets” with “posts” and “retweets” with “reposts.” Interestingly, these changes don’t seem to reflect on the domain URL when the platform is being accessed via desktop, as what’s supposed to be “x.com” still spells “twitter.com.”
More changes are expected to come as Musk has plans to turn the social network into an “everything” app, similar to WeChat.
Is it worth it to get X?
X enables users to share a wide range of content through tweets. Its user-friendly interface and cross-platform compatibility provide an accessible social media experience. However, it's important to note that X search is now restricted to registered users, while unregistered users can only explore the curated content on the Explore tab.