Meta's Threads now fastest-growing platform after 100 million users sign up in first five days

Analysts see Threads as first potential threat to Elon Musk-owned Twitter
July 10, 2023 at 22:17 Author: Editors Desk Source: CBC News:
Meta's new Threads app targets users looking for an alternative to Twitter, the social media platform owned by billionaire Elon Musk. (Richard Drew/The Associated Press)
Meta's new Threads app targets users looking for an alternative to Twitter, the social media platform owned by billionaire Elon Musk. (Richard Drew/The Associated Press)

Meta's Twitter rival Threads crossed 100 million sign-ups within five days of launch, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Monday, dethroning ChatGPT as the fastest-growing online platform to hit the milestone.

Threads has been setting records for user growth since its launch on Wednesday, with celebrities, politicians and other newsmakers joining the platform seen by analysts as the first serious threat to the Elon Musk-owned social media app.

"That's mostly organic demand, and we haven't even turned on many promotions yet," Zuckerberg said in a Threads post announcing the milestone.

The app's sprint to 100 million users was much speedier than that of OpenAI-owned ChatGPT, which became the fastest-growing consumer application in history in January about two months after its launch, according to a UBS study.

Still, Threads has some catching up to do.

Twitter had nearly 240 million monetizable daily active users as of July last year, according to the company's last public disclosure before Musk's takeover.

Twitter has responded to the arrival of threads by threatening to sue Meta Platforms, alleging that the social media behemoth used its trade secrets and other confidential information to build the app.

That claim, legal experts say, could be hard to prove. Threads bears a strong resemblance to Twitter, as do numerous other social media sites that have cropped up in recent months as users have chafed at Musk's management of the service.

WATCH | Mixed reviews for Meta's new Twitter rival Threads:

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has launched a text-based social media platform meant to compete with Twitter called Threads. It has already garnered millions of users on its first day but many critics say it still has many of the same drawbacks of other social media platforms.

No DMs, no desktop version

Threads allows posts that are up to 500 characters long and supports links, photos and videos of up to five minutes. The app also does not yet have a direct messaging function and lacks a desktop version that certain users, such as business organizations, rely on.

It also currently lacks hashtags and keyword search functions, which limits both its appeal to advertisers and its utility as a place for following real-time events like users frequently do on Twitter.

Still, analysts said the turmoil at Twitter, including recently imposed limits on the number on tweets users can see, could help Threads to attract users and advertisers.

Currently, there are no ads on the Threads app and Zuckerberg said the company would only think about monetization once there was a clear path to one billion users.

Instagram head Adam Mosseri said last week Meta was not trying to replace Twitter and that Threads aimed to focus on light subjects like sports, music, fashion and design. He acknowledged that politics and hard news are inevitably going to show up on Threads, in what would be a challenge for the app pitching itself as the "friendly" option for public discourse online.


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