Yes, it’s a duplicate of Twitter, and yes, it’s piggybacking off of Instagram to build its user base. But regardless of the framing, Meta’s new Threads app is still on track to become the fastest-growing app of all time, with over 30 million users now active on the platform.
As shared by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg (and yes, that is a Threads embed), Threads is rapidly adding users, as people flock to the app to reserve their profile, check out the discussion, get a sense of whether it’s worth the effort, etc.
That puts Threads well on pace to usurp the current ‘fastest-growing app’ title holder in ChatGPT, which reached 100 million users in just two months earlier this year.
A better comparison, however, would probably be Meta’s own Messenger app, which grew quickly after Facebook began prompting users to download the separate app in order to maintain their message threads. Messenger did grow quickly after Meta initiated this push, adding around 300 million more users in the proceeding 6 months, but the independent Messenger app had actually been available for several years before Meta began forcing users to download it.
Which makes it ineligible for this moniker – which means that Threads, which is on track to reach 50 million users by the weekend, will likely take the crown, probably sometime next week.
That’ll no doubt raise the hackles of Twitter CEO Elon Musk who’s been suspiciously quiet about the Twitter clone getting so much early attention. Musk’s supporters have been critical of Threads’ data gathering processes, and its apparent censorship of users, even in its early stages, while new Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino has defended the unique-ness of Twitter’s approach.
On Twitter, everyone's voice matters.— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayacc) July 6, 2023
Whether you’re here to watch history unfold, discover REAL-TIME information all over the world, share your opinions, or learn about others -- on Twitter YOU can be real.
YOU built the Twitter community. ???????? And that's irreplaceable. This…
And of course, it’s far too early to say whether Threads will become a true rival for Twitter, especially given its functional limitations at this stage. But it does look like it’s well in with a shot – and again, Instagram, which Meta is using as a onboarding ramp for Threads, has over a billion daily active users, versus Twitter’s 250 million.
That’s a lot of potential trending discussion that you could be missing out on by not downloading the app.
Which will also attract ad buyers, boosting Meta’s revenue potential, and shrinking Twitter’s own market. Add to this the concerns about brand safety, the current rate limits issue, forcing users and brands towards paying for the app – there’s a lot that Threads could win out on, by evolving on its current course.
And Zuckerberg hasn’t held back in sending barbs Musk’s way:
“It’ll take some time, but I think there should be a public conversations app with 1bn+ people on it. Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it. Hopefully we will”
So is it worth the effort? Should you brand be getting on Threads straight away, and seeking to build a presence in yet another new app?
Look, of all of the Twitter alternatives thus far, Threads is clearly the best, in terms of functionality, infrastructure, audience, etc. And that’s after just a day – and while there are still a lot of elements that need to be developed (which Meta will be working overtime to fix), it does feel like a real shift, more so than Mastodon, or any other app.
As such, establishing a presence, at the least, should be on your to-do list, while checking in on what’s happening in app will also likely be worth your time.
UPDATE (7/6): As of 7pm ET, Threads is reportedly up to 48 million sign-ups.