Instagram’s new social network, Threads, became the fastest-growing application in history, reaching milestone after milestone within days.
Its popularity and success were so strong that another app with the same name blew up alongside it, regardless of the fact that the two are completely unrelated.
Following the launch of Threads, Instagram’s Twitter clone recorded 30 million users in the first 24 hours. By day 5, the app saw over 100 million signups, and by July 15th, Data.ai recorded over 150 million downloads of Threads.
Given the app’s meteoric rise, it might not be surprising that some would-be users mistakenly downloaded a completely different, unrelated app with the same name.
This other app, called Threads, is a Slack alternative launched out of stealth in 2019. The app received backing from Sequoia Capital, and in the last few days, its number of downloads skyrocketed as the users kept mistaking it for Meta’s new Instagram-related social network.
The mistake happened partially because Slack’s Threads owns the Threads.com domain name. Meanwhile, Instagram’s new app holds ownership of Threads.net.
— threads (@Threads) July 7, 2023
Slack’s Threads Sees Over 1 Million “Accidental” Downloads
In the confusion, Threads (the Slack alternative) saw a massive spike in downloads, with over 880,000 downloads around the world on iOS devices alone. Prior to this, the app’s number of downloads was significantly lower.
The users’ mistake when looking for Threads led the alternative app to become the 52nd most-downloaded app globally overall and third in the business category.
The biggest number of downloads came from Germany, Spain, and Italy. Another reason why the alternative Threads was downloaded could be that Instagram’s new app is not yet available in the European Union.
However, users likely didn’t know that, so they downloaded the first app called Threads that they found at the store, which ended up being Slack’s app.
Android users from the EU made similar mistakes, pushing Slack’s Threads to over 1 million downloads purely by accident.
The company behind the app had to add a message disassociating its app from Instagram to avoid confusion and potential accusations of using Instagram’s Threads’ popularity for its promotion. Of course, given that Slack’s Threads is a much older app, the company did not do anything of the sort.
Threads is a Popular Name for an App
Incidents where multiple companies use the same name for a product, especially on accident, is nothing new. It was seen multiple times, like multiple firms using the name Lightyear.
One of them was a Dutch electric car startup, two others were fintechs from the UK, and even a telecom service from New York used the same name, unaware of the theories.
Not only that, but the Slack competitor and Instagram’s Threads are not the only two out there. There is also a UK chat-based shopping platform with the same name.
To add to the confusion, Instagram had a Threads app before the current one, launched also in 2019, but it shut down two years later.
The Slack competitor Threads’ CEO, Rousseau Kazi, stated,
Threads is a powerful word and an internet native term. Using threads — on various platforms — is the best way to stay connected with your [.net]work or [.com]pany. Given this, it comes as no surprise that Meta chose a powerful label to represent their take at building the town square.
Kazi also worked in a product management position at Meta, back when the firm was still called Facebook, for six years.
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