Meta Platforms’ new microblogging app, Threads, has achieved a remarkable feat by surpassing 100 million sign-ups within just five days of its launch. This milestone has dethroned ChatGPT as the fastest-growing online platform to reach this achievement. Threads has quickly gained traction, attracting celebrities, politicians, and other notable figures, positioning itself as a significant competitor to Elon Musk’s Twitter. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the impressive user growth and highlighted the organic demand driving its success, without relying heavily on promotions.
Unprecedented Growth and Comparison to ChatGPT:
Threads’ rapid rise to 100 million users surpasses the growth rate of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which previously held the record as the fastest-growing consumer application. While ChatGPT achieved this milestone in about two months, Threads accomplished it even more swiftly. A UBS study confirmed ChatGPT’s achievement in January. However, despite its remarkable growth, Threads still has ground to cover in order to catch up to Twitter, which boasted nearly 240 million monetizable daily active users as of July last year.
Threads vs. Twitter:
Legal Disputes and Features: Threads’ emergence as a competitor has sparked legal disputes between Meta and Twitter. Twitter has threatened to sue Meta, accusing the social media giant of using trade secrets and confidential information to develop the Threads app. Legal experts believe proving such claims may pose challenges. Threads bears resemblance to Twitter, along with other social media platforms that have emerged recently due to user dissatisfaction with Elon Musk’s management of Twitter.
While Threads supports posts of up to 500 characters and various media formats, it currently lacks features such as direct messaging, a desktop version, hashtags, and keyword search functions. These limitations may affect its appeal to advertisers and hinder its ability to serve as a real-time event platform. Nevertheless, analysts believe that Twitter’s recent turmoil, including imposed tweet limits, may help Threads attract users and advertisers.
Monetization and Focus on Light Subjects:
At present, Threads does not display ads, and Zuckerberg stated that the company would only consider monetization once it reaches 1 billion users. Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, clarified that Meta’s goal is not to replace Twitter entirely. Instead, Threads aims to focus on light subjects such as sports, music, fashion, and design. However, it acknowledges that politics and hard news are likely to appear on the platform, posing a challenge for the app’s positioning as a “friendly” option for public discourse online.
Meta’s Threads has experienced unprecedented growth, surpassing 100 million sign-ups within five days of its launch. While it challenges Twitter’s dominance and attracts high-profile users, it still faces significant competition and limitations in terms of features and functionalities. The legal disputes between Meta and Twitter further highlight the intensity of the rivalry. As Threads continues to evolve and expand its user base, it remains to be seen how it will shape the landscape of microblogging and online public discourse, especially given Twitter’s established position in the market.