Meta-owned Threads has reached 100 million users in less than a week, beating ChatGPT’s record for the fastest-growing app ever.
Meta’s Twitter rival was launched in 100 countries last week (10 July) but remains unavailable in Europe.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg has framed the app as a “friendly” alternative to Elon Musk’s Twitter, as the rivalry between the two billionaires intensifies.
Zuckerberg announced the Meta-owned Threads had reached 10 million sign-ups in the first seven hours of its launch, which had more than doubled just 24 hours later.
OpenAI’s popular generative AI chatbot, ChatGPT, previously set the record for the fastest-growing app with 100 million users in two months.
Zuckerberg claimed the outstanding success of Threads was “way beyond our expectations”.
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Paolo Pescators, researcher at PP Foresight, told Verdict: “Ultimately the [Threads] launch is all about diversifying, creating the next big thing that captures public attention, which will drive engagement and generate new revenue streams.”
Adding: “Meta stands a better chance than most, given its scale and ability to attract millions of current users, but whether others can succeed and if there is a role for another app remains unclear.”
Last week (July 7), it was reported that Twitter is considering pressing legal action against Meta following the successful launch of its rival app.
Twitter’s atorney Alex Spiro accused the Facebook owner of using former Twitter staff to build its new app. Meta has denied these claims.
The runaway launch of the app comes as Twitter continues to receive criticism for the changes implemented by Musk.
Since the SpaceX founder took over in November last year, thousands of staff have been laid off – including most of the content moderation team.
Musk has been continually under fire for his stance on Twitter’s moderation of hate speech and misinformation. In the first month of Musk’s Twitter takeover, hundreds of previously banned accounts were allowed back onto the platform, including Donald Trump and Jordan Peterson.
The launch of Threads came shortly after Musk announced a tweet-read limit for users, locking the maximum amount of Tweets available to read behind a paywall.
Intense backlash from users led to the read-limit being extended by Musk, but the move demonstrated how Musk is scrambling to come up with monetisation streams for the social media platform.
“Twitter is currently facing significant challenges, including a recent controversial move to limit users’ tweet visibility to increase revenue and combat data harvesting by emerging AI firms,” Karolina Uvarkina, founder of Enflow Digital, told Verdict.
“In the meantime, more and more competitors, most notably, Meta’s Threads and Bluesky, backed by Twitter’s former CEO Jack Dorsey, are seizing the opportunity to carve out a niche for themselves by attracting dissatisfied Twitter users.”