Threads, the new social media app launched by Meta, has taken the digital world by storm, surpassing a monumental milestone of 100 million sign-ups in an unprecedented timeframe. A day after its unexpected release, Threads garnered an impressive 30 million sign-ups within the first 24 hours. Its popularity skyrocketed, with the app reaching 50 million users within a few short hours. And now, Threads has crossed the remarkable threshold of 100 million members, solidifying its position as the fastest-growing app in history.
This remarkable achievement has far surpassed the growth rate of previous record holders. For example, ChatGPT, an app released earlier this year, took two months to accumulate 100 million users. The fact that Threads achieved this feat in such a short span of time is truly remarkable. However, it is important to distinguish between "sign-ups" and "active users." While Threads has successfully attracted millions of people to create an account, the level of user engagement and the amount of time spent on the app remain uncertain.
remainsNonetheless, this initial sign-up surge is a significant accomplishment and sets a strong foundation for Threads to establish itself as a formidable contender in the social media landscape. To put this into perspective, Twitter currently boasts around 250 million daily active users, indicating that Threads has a long way to go to match the scale of its competitor. Nevertheless, the rapid growth bodes well for Threads' potential as a challenger app.
Despite the impressive numbers, the success of Threads is not without its challenges. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, encountered some technical difficulties as his own account page failed to display any of his threads. Additionally, the app experienced some performance issues, including slow posting and occasional crashes. However, given Meta's expertise in scaling digital platforms and its vast user network encompassing Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger, these initial hurdles are expected to be swiftly overcome.
Meta's decision to prioritise Threads reflects its strategic shift away from news and political discussions, redirecting its focus towards promoting positive human interactions and entertainment. By doing so, Meta aims to create an algorithmic framework emphasising sharing content with friends rather than public dissemination. While news and politics will still find a place on the platform, Meta no longer intends to prioritise them as heavily as before. This change in approach stems from a realisation that the intense engagement fueled by divisive political discussions may not be beneficial in the long run, considering the negative impact it can have on publishers, user experience, and Meta's reputation.
Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, has shared insights into the future developments of Threads. These include improved search functionalities, the introduction of active hashtags, a separate following feed, decentralised elements for graph syncing and portability, an auto-archive option to maintain a fresh profile, and potential integration with Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram Direct. While these features are still in development and will take time to implement, the early success of Threads demonstrates Meta's commitment to refining and expanding the app based on user feedback.
As Threads continues its meteoric rise, Twitter, its main competitor, will face the challenge of responding to this formidable rival. While Twitter CEO Elon Musk has taken a strong stance on free speech and open discussions, Meta's shift towards positive interactions and entertainment may present a differentiating factor between the two platforms. Furthermore, Musk's recent attacks on journalists have led to some considering reducing their presence on the app, potentially triggering a larger shift in user behaviour.
While Meta's achievement with Threads is undoubtedly impressive, the true test lies in sustaining user engagement and developing the app's features further. The company must navigate the fine line between providing an entertaining and engaging platform while curbing the amplification of divisive content. As the battle for social media dominance unfolds, the success of Threads highlights the growing demand for innovative platforms that prioritize positive interactions and personalised content sharing.