During its launch, Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that over 10 million users registered for the newly launched “Threads” app within the initial seven hours. This early response indicates a potential challenge to Twitter from this Instagram spin-off, especially considering Twitter’s recent issues with technical glitches and unpopular updates.
The introduction of Threads coincides with a period of criticism directed at Twitter for implementing unpopular user experience changes and grappling with notable technical difficulties. Facebook has a history of replicating features from competitors with mixed outcomes. Notably, the launch of “Instagram Stories” in 2016 closely mirrored a Snapchat feature, while the “Instagram Reels” TikTok clone gained popularity in regions where TikTok was banned.
Similarly, Facebook Marketplace, akin to Craigslist, found success in certain parts of South Asia. Apart from its track record of successful mimicry, Meta’s substantial global user base provides a significant advantage over Twitter. With an active user count of 2 billion, Instagram, Threads’ parent platform, is approximately eight times the size of Twitter.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, referred to the new app as an “initial version” and shared plans to incorporate additional features, including the ability to engage with users on other social media platforms like Mastodon.
Before its launch, Meta stated that their intention with Threads was to leverage the strengths of Instagram and expand them into the realm of text-based communication.
Despite being a separate app, Threads requires users to log in using their Instagram account. Their Instagram username carries over, though there is an option to customize their profile specifically for Threads.
According to Meta, users will have the option to follow the same accounts on Threads as they do on Instagram. The app allows individuals to maintain privacy on Instagram while being more open and public on Threads.
Threads, the messaging app, has expanded its availability to over 100 countries, including the United Kingdom. However, it has not yet been made available in the European Union due to regulatory concerns.
Meta’s Impressive Sign-Up Surge and Twitter CEO’s Response
According to Zuckerberg’s announcement on Threads, Meta’s alternative to Twitter witnessed an impressive surge in sign-ups. Within the initial two hours, registrations exceeded 2 million, which then grew to 5 million in the subsequent two hours. At the seven-hour mark, the numbers doubled yet again, reaching an impressive 10 million. To provide context, it took Facebook 852 days to achieve the same milestone, whereas Twitter accomplished it in 780 days.
Threads offers a user-friendly alternative compared to other Twitter competitors like Mastodon or Bluesky. By leveraging their Instagram account, users can easily sign up, populate their profile, and create follow lists. In response to Threads’ launch, Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who has been openly critical of Meta and Zuckerberg, suggested that the app merely replicated Twitter’s design without innovation.
Musk’s Tweet & Zuckerberg’s Vision for Meta’s Success
In a tweet, Musk expressed his perspective, stating that being subjected to criticism from unknown individuals on Twitter is far more preferable than engaging in the illusionary contentment found on Instagram, where one hides their true emotions behind a façade of happiness.
While the launch of Threads encountered a setback with Zuckerberg’s timeline failing to load, it hasn’t been devoid of glitches. When asked about the possibility of Threads surpassing Twitter in popularity, Zuckerberg expressed his belief that a public conversations app with over 1 billion users is feasible. He noted that Twitter had the chance to achieve this but fell short, while expressing hope that Meta’s platform could succeed in this endeavor.