Should Elon worry? Twitter rival Threads gains instant traction, as app is downloaded by tens of millions, and signups surpass 30 million
Mark Zuckerberg’s Threads challenge to Twitter continues to gather steam on Thursday, with a healthy numbers of signups. And analysts warn it could pose a true threat to Elon Musk’s platform.
This is because Threads has been build by Meta’s Instagram team, and was built on top of Instagram, which was designed to help share data between close personal friends.
Threads is automatically linked to a user’s account on the photo-sharing app – a move than provides access to more than 2 billion monthly active Instagram users.
Initially, users had only be able to access Threads through a pre-order process in the Instagram app. But as of Thursday, the app became available for download from Apple’s App Store and the Android Play Store, where is quickly racked up 10 million downloads in just seven hours.
But how can you use it?
Well, users are required to have an Instagram account in order to use Threads.
Once the app is downloaded, it will prompt the user to login via their Instagram account. From there, Threads will automatically port over the user’s Instagram username, but a profile can still be customised.
Meta is pitching Threads as Instagram’s friendly and open text-based conversation app, and to tempt Twitter users, its interface is similar to the microblogging platform.
And a number of analysts have said that Threads could pose a serious challenge to Twitter, from users unhappy at the current state of the platform under the controversial ownership of Elon Musk.
“Meta’s release of Threads came at the perfect time to give it a fighting chance to unseat Twitter,” Niklas Myhr, professor of marketing at Chapman University, was quoted by Reuters as saying, in reference to the turmoil at Twitter after it limited the number of tweets users can see.
“Threads will be off to a running start as it is built upon the Instagram platform with its massive user base and if users adopt Threads, advertisers will be following closely behind,” Myhr reportedly added.
Existing advertising relationships from Instagram and Facebook should help Threads’ revenue (when Threads adopts advertising), Pinar Yildirim, associate professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School also told Reuters.
“Facebook is a less uncertain bet compared to Twitter and a bigger player in the ad market,” he reportedly said.
So Threads as a standalone app allows users to log in using their Instagram credentials, which makes it an easy addition for Instagram’s more than 2 billion monthly active users.
Twitter, by comparison, had 229 million monthly active users as of May 2022, when it last publicly disclosed such a figure.
Mastodon meanwhile has 1.7 million monthly active users according to its website, while Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey-backed Bluesky has about 265,000 users.
But current Twitter CEO, Linda Yaccarino, does not seem to be overly concerned, after she tweeted that Twitter is “often imitated – but the Twitter community can never be duplicated.”
On Twitter, everyone’s voice matters.
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…
— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayacc) July 6, 2023
However judging by some of the comments in response to Yaccarino’s tweet, Twitter may well have its work cut out for it in the months ahead.