Threads Is Going Gangbusters

Mark Zuckerberg's Twitter rival probably has about 100M new signups by now
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2023 10:00 AM CDT
Threads Is Going Gangbusters
the logo for Meta's new app Threads, right, and that of Twitter.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

If Elon Musk were hoping Mark Zuckerberg's Twitter rival would flop upon arrival, it's clear by now his hopes have been dashed. Zuckerberg wrote Friday on Threads that the new platform had logged 70 million signups in less than 48 hours, reports the Guardian. The Meta CEO hasn't provided an update since, but the Verge projects the number is more than 100 million as of Sunday. Meaning Threads has "quickly blown past the other Twitter alternatives" in its brief run, writes Wes Davis.

  • Advantage: One big reason Threads has thrived so quickly is that it's linked to Instagram and its massive existing user base. New users can log on to Threads via their Instagram account rather than having to create a whole new one, notes the Guardian.
  • The basics: "Threads looks a lot like Twitter," writes Lauren Jackson in a New York Times explainer. "It offers many of the same features: a scrolling feed of posts, some with photos or videos attached, and the ability to repost other users. The feed is a mix of posts from accounts that users follow and those suggested by an algorithm." Meta says it intends to foster a friendlier, less political environment than Twitter, which could prove to be a major challenge.

  • The goal: The Verge had a Threads conversation with Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, who elaborated on the plan. "The goal isn't to replace Twitter," he says. "The goal is to create a public square for communities on Instagram that never really embraced Twitter and for communities on Twitter (and other platforms) that are interested in a less angry place for conversations, but not all of Twitter." News and politics aren't off limits, but they're not encouraged, either.
  • A new halo: Musk "has done the once unimaginable: He has helped revive Mark Zuckerberg's Silicon Valley mojo," writes Tim Higgins in a Wall Street Journal analysis. In recent years, Zuckerberg had been vilified as the embodiment of everything wrong with Silicon Valley, but his PR image is getting a boost with the arrival of Threads. Axios also took note of this, rounding up praise in the press for both Zuckerberg and Threads.
  • Note of caution: Sure, people are jumping from Instagram into Threads, writes Lauren Silva Laughlin at Reuters. But are people actually leaving Twitter for the new platform? It will take time to know the answer to that crucial question. What's more, it's possible the new platform will take away from Instagram itself, which would be bad news for Meta.
(Twitter is threatening to sue, claiming Threads is a ripoff.)

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