Oliver Mitchell

Meta's Threads App Breaks Records with 100 Million Sign-Ups


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Threads, the newest app from Meta, has set a record by becoming the fastest-growing app of all time. The much-anticipated alternative to Twitter was launched earlier than expected and saw 30 million sign-ups within the first 24 hours of release. The numbers don't stop there – it reached 50 million sign-ups just a few hours later, and less than two days after, it stood at 70 million. As of Monday morning, Threads crossed the 100 million sign-up marker, beating out ChatGPT's record of reaching 100 million users in two months.

According to Instagram chief, Adam Mosseri, Threads aims to encourage a slightly different type of conversation than Twitter's focus on news and current events. Meta seeks to shift away from news and political discussions, focusing instead on positive human interactions and light entertainment. The challenge is to create an algorithm that promotes content that users are more likely to share with friends as opposed to public sharing. Despite the historic tendency for posts that trigger emotional responses like anger and joy to gain traction, Meta is confident in its ability to usher Threads users towards more positive interactions.

Mosseri has also pointed out that Meta no longer feels the need to focus on news and politics as it seeks to re-align user engagement around entertainment. The platform's change in approach is influenced, in part, by TikTok, which has shown that users are more interested in social platforms as discovery tools. Consequently, more friend and family discussions are now taking place in private DM chat groups rather than on main feeds.

Coming Developments for Threads

Threads is still in its early stages, and there are several developments in the pipeline. These include improved search functionality, the inclusion of active hashtags, a separate following feed, decentralized elements for graph syncing and portability, and an auto-archive option for profile freshness. However, Mosseri seems lukewarm on adding in-app DMs, possibly because Meta would prefer to link this option back into Messenger/WhatsApp/Instagram Direct.

The rapid rise of Threads poses a challenge for Twitter. Its response may include legal action over potential IP violations and reliance on its network effects and approach to appeal to its audience. Twitter chief Elon Musk's stance on free speech and allowing more types of discussion could differentiate Twitter from Threads. However, the final verdict lies in the hands of the users – whether they prefer Twitter's 'free and open' approach focusing on news and politics, or Threads' focus on entertainment. The exodus of journalists and their audiences following Musk's criticism could also trigger a significant habitual shift. It's an exciting time for social media, and the race is on.

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