Threads Is Breaking Download Records

Zuckerberg says new app was downloaded 30M times in first day
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2023 6:18 AM CDT
Threads Is Breaking Download Records
Meta's new app Threads targets users looking for a Twitter alternative.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

"Round one of this thing is off to a good start," Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg remarked on the company's Threads social network Thursday. He said that, in "as good a start as we could have hoped for," the app, which went live Wednesday night, had been downloaded 30 million times by Thursday morning. That appears more than enough to make it the most rapidly downloaded app of all time, putting it ahead of ChatGPT, which was downloaded a million times in its first five days, the New York Times reports. Threads is also on course to break the ChatGPT record of 100 million downloads within two months, per the Times.

The millions of new users are posting, or "threading," a lot as well, according to Alex Heath at the Verge. Heath said Thursday that according to internal data he had seen, "there have already been more than 95 million posts and 190 million likes shared." The Times describes Threads as a "surprise hit" for Meta, where morale had been hit hard by rounds of layoffs. Sources tell the Times that the Twitter rival began seven months ago as a secret project code-named "Project 92."

The early success of Threads comes despite users' concerns about privacy issues at Meta—and despite the app being unavailable in European Union countries due to regulatory issues. Analysts say the release likely got a big boost from happening during a slow news week, and at a time when Twitter was hit by technical issues. "Suddenly, you have something that's improbable: Meta has gotten into microblogging and people are actually digging it," John Wihbey at the School of Journalism and Media Innovation at Northeastern University tells Wired. Twitter has threatened to sue Meta for allegedly misappropriating trade secrets, though Meta denies that former Twitter employees were on the Threads engineering team. (More Threads stories.)

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