The social media app Threads, dubbed by some as Mark Zuckerberg's answer to Twitter, has amassed 100 million sign-ups in less than five days of its launch.
Rapidly expanding since its inception last Wednesday, Threads, a rival to Twitter, aims to win over users with Zuckerberg's pledge of promoting "kindness" on the platform.
In response to this surge in popularity, Twitter's Elon Musk has threatened legal action against Meta, Threads' parent company, alleging that Threads is a "copycat" app.
Zuckerberg, posting on his Threads account, revealed that the app attracted 100 million users over the weekend. This contrasts sharply with Instagram's early performance, also a part of Zuckerberg's Meta conglomerate, which took a week to reach a mere 100,000 users after its launch as an independent platform in 2010.
Zuckerberg celebrated Threads' rapid growth by saying, “Threads reached 100 million sign-ups over the weekend. That’s mostly organic demand and we haven’t even turned on many promotions yet. Can’t believe it’s only been five days!”
Users of Threads are required to have an Instagram account to sign in, and they can import the accounts they follow on Instagram to the new platform. Despite Zuckerberg's emphasis on promoting kindness, US non-profit group Media Matters reported that right-wing figures such as white nationalist Richard Spencer and white supremacist Nick Fuentes have registered on Threads. In response, Meta has since deactivated Spencer’s account.
Twitter, since Musk’s £38bn takeover last year, has undergone significant turbulence, with the billionaire implementing major changes, including substantial job reductions and viewing restrictions.
Mike Proulx, research director at the analysis firm Forrester, labelled the Threads launch as a “case study on what to do right”. He observed: “The meteoric rise of Threads, in just five days, indicates just how many people have been seeking an alternative to what Twitter has become.” Nevertheless, Proulx advised that Threads must demonstrate that it can maintain steady growth and retain user engagement.
Meta, which also owns Facebook and WhatsApp, has postponed the release of Threads in the EU due to uncertainties regarding the region's regulations on the app’s use of personal data.
Web services firm Cloudflare reported that traffic to Twitter, which Musk claims has over 250 million daily users, was in decline. Matthew Prince, Cloudflare’s managing director, shared a graph indicating a dip in Cloudflare's domain server ranking for Twitter in mid-2023, correlating with Musk's Twitter viewing restrictions and the launch of Threads.
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