Meta’s latest venture, Threads, has experienced a remarkable surge in popularity since its public launch on Wednesday night. Fueled by the vast userbase of Instagram, the text-based social media platform has already garnered an impressive 70 million sign-ups in its first full day, as confirmed by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Friday. The Verge reported that users had posted over 95 million posts and achieved 190 million likes by Thursday afternoon, based on internal company data.
Threads and Instagram: A Winning Combination
One significant factor contributing to Threads’ rapid growth is its integration with Instagram. Users can easily sign up for Threads using their existing Instagram handles, allowing them to retain their followers as others join the app. According to Jasmine Enberg, principal analyst at Insider Intelligence, if only one in every four Instagram users were to utilize Threads on a monthly basis, it could potentially rival the size of Twitter. To put this into perspective, Twitter reported nearly 238 million monetizable daily active users in its last quarterly earnings report.
The Challenges and Potential of Threads
While Threads has demonstrated promising growth, its success as a Twitter alternative depends on more than just user numbers. The app must prove its ability to engage users and encourage regular usage. Unlike Twitter, which has a strong presence among journalists, politicians, and academics, Threads has the potential to attract a broader audience due to its connection with Instagram—an image-centric platform with distinct use cases. Additionally, Meta’s efforts to reduce political content on Facebook could carry over to Threads, differentiating it from Twitter.
Jasmine Enberg highlights the importance of keeping Threads interesting to maintain momentum once the initial novelty wears off. The culture and usage patterns on Threads may differ from Twitter, and it remains uncertain whether people will rely on Threads for news and current events as they do on Twitter. However, this could work in Meta’s favor. Even the most engaged Twitter users often find themselves frustrated with the constant chaos and sudden changes, making Threads a refreshing alternative.
Politicians have already shown interest in Threads, with over a quarter of Congress members and several Republican presidential candidates creating accounts. Advertisers familiar with Meta are also likely to welcome an alternative to Twitter, especially if they perceive it to be a safer platform for their brands. Meta has assured users that Threads will adhere to Instagram’s community guidelines, further enticing advertisers who value brand safety.
Threads has made a significant impact within a short period. With its integration with Instagram and potential to attract a diverse userbase, Threads has the potential to rival Twitter’s dominance. However, to sustain its growth and compete successfully, Threads must continue to engage users and differentiate itself from other social media platforms.