Meta’s new text-based social media app Threads has exploded in popularity, attracting over 100 million users in just five days since its launch on July 6.
The rapid growth of Threads shows the strong user base Meta can tap into through its Instagram platform, which has over one billion users. Users can easily sign up for Threads using their Instagram account, helping fuel its unprecedented early momentum.
According to Instagram’s head Adam Mosseri, Threads surpassed the 100 million user mark in “five insane days.” Mosseri acknowledged the app still has a long way to go but praised the team for “busting their ass” to get Threads off the ground.
Meta Platforms (META) CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that Threads attracted 2 million users within two hours of launching, 5 million within four hours, and 10 million within seven hours. In less than 24 hours, more than 30 million people had signed up for the app.
Threads Aims to Deliver Less ‘Toxic’ Feeds, EU Availability Not Yet Confirmed
Threads’ growth is all the more impressive considering it has not yet launched in the European Union due to privacy concerns.
While Threads has seen astronomical user growth, the app is still lacking some basic features that social media users have come to expect. It does not yet have hashtags, post search, direct messages, or a chronological feed.
However, Threads’ main selling point is that it aims to provide a lighter, less toxic alternative to Twitter that focuses on “positive” topics like sports, music, fashion, and design rather than the “scrutiny, negativity, and integrity risks” of politics and news that Twitter often deals with.
Mosseri said that while “politics and hard news are inevitably going to show up” on Threads, Meta will not “do anything to encourage those verticals.” His goal is for Threads “not to replace Twitter.”
Still, Threads’ rapid early success poses a potential long-term threat to the already beleaguered Twitter. Since Elon Musk’s takeover, Twitter has suffered multiple technical issues and an exodus of both advertisers and users.
The head of Tesla (TSLA) has responded to Threads’ launch by threatening to sue Meta for allegedly stealing Twitter’s trade secrets and intellectual property in building its competitor – claims Meta denies.
Threads is Getting Bigger by the Day and Twitter Could be Feeling the Chills
While Threads still has a long way to go before it can truly rival Twitter, its ability to quickly onboard tens of millions of users directly from Instagram demonstrates the threat it could pose with continued improvements.
Meta now has an alternative social media platform that has the potential to soak up users disillusioned by Musk’s management of Twitter, though it remains to be seen if Threads can retain its massive early audience.
In any case, 100 million users are more than a quarter of the monthly active users (MAUs) that Statista estimates that Twitter has at this point. If Threads keeps growing at this pace in the following weeks, it may just be a matter of time for it to become larger than its rival.
It is worth noting that Instagram has over 2.3 billion monthly active users (MAUs). Although it is hard to estimate how many of those people will open an account on Threads, if just 10% of that total start using the platform, that would result in MAUs exceeding 200 million for the new micro-blogging app.
For Meta, user acquisition costs are near zero at the moment and that makes Threads an incredible cross-sell.
For now, though, Meta is celebrating Threads’ record-breaking market entry as an encouraging sign of what could come. The platform will still need to prove to users that it can deliver what it promises once ‘toxic’ characters start flooding people’s feeds.
Its ability to moderate this type of content, the progressive release of usual features that users are accustomed to seeing on Twitter, and improvements to the interface may be crucial to keep users engaged and MAUs growing.