“Threads” app continues to gain momentum. The new Threads app, released by Meta on July 5 of this month, has seen a tremendous increase in users over the past two days, and as of July 7, the number of users worldwide exceeds 73 million.
Within an hour and a half of the app’s release, the number of users exceeded 1 million; by the time Mark Zuckerberg went to bed, the number had grown to 10 million; and when he woke up the next morning, the number of users had reached 30 million. This number also broke the record of “1 million in 5 days” achieved by ChatGPT, which was launched a few months earlier. Now Threads became the fastest app of all time to gather the most users ever.
What is the difference between Threads and Twitter?
Threads allows users to log in with their Instagram accounts, making it easy to connect on Threads with people they are already connected with on Instagram. It has been called a “Twitter killer” because it is a “text-based conversational app” and its user interface is very similar to Twitter, but the specific features are not exactly the same.
For example, Twitter has a character limit of 150 characters per tweet, but Threads allows users to write up to 500 characters. Like, comment, and repost other people’s posts, and users can also share their Threads’ posts on Instagram stories. Furthermore, while Twitter allows only four photos per post, Threads allows up to 10. Also, videos can be up to 5 minutes in length on Threads, compared to 2 minutes and 20 seconds on Twitter; Threads is truly the essence of Instagram’s visual appeal, while at the same time offering the texting capabilities that Twitter users love.
Other than that, users can control who can reply to their posts, filter certain words, and block or restrict other profiles from following them. In the release, Meta states that Threads was built “to enable positive, productive conversations.”
Since its acquisition by Elon Musk for $44 billion, Twitter has weathered a number of tumultuous developments, including employee layoffs and dictatorial management decisions. In recent days, the company announced that it will limit the number of posts a user can view per day in order to limit data scraping by malicious vendors. The change further accelerated the frustration of existing users. The Twitter community also had a negative image of being a place where criticism and offensive opinions were exchanged, marked by claims of hate speech and political extremism.
In recent years, many companies and brands, including those in the fashion industry, have closed their official Twitter accounts, and the distribution of digital content has shifted to Instagram and Tiktok. However, while Threads claims to be text-based, it is characterized by its excellence in the dissemination of visual content. It is also well suited for the fashion industry in that it can take over the existing active users of Instagram, which was originally based on images and videos.
In addition, despite the fact that it is a newly born community, a positive atmosphere is already flowing among users as a place of exchange where they can casually tweet about parts of their daily lives with those closest to them, rather than users who prefer to distribute extreme content on Twitter.
Future challenges for the Threads
Threads is off to a strong start, but of course, there are areas for improvement. Some Twitter users have said that if Threads wants to be an alternative to Twitter, it will need to restructure its feeds to be more like Twitter’s existing features.
In addition, Threads’ current platform uses an algorithmic feed that displays a lot of content from accounts that users do not follow. Although it does not display ads from companies or other content, some users have voiced their concerns about the display of content from people they do not know, saying that it is interfering with the content they really want to see. In response, the head of Instagram Adam Mosseri suggested that an option to show only accounts that are followed may be added to the threads in the future.
The Future Beyond the Buzz of the Threads
What will become of Threads’ popularity in the future? The fact that it is the fastest and most downloaded app of all time does not mean that its triumph is yet assured.
For example, the voice chat app “Clubhouse” caused a huge boom from the end of January to February 2021. When Clubhouse’s market capitalization was valued at 1 billion on January 22nd, attracting the attention of business people around the world and quickly spread its popularity to a large number of other users. The platform was very appealing, as it allowed people to stay at home and simultaneously talk to people around the world, just as the country was under a declared state of emergency due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The new voice application and the exclusive nature of the application, which is open only to those who have been invited to participate, further increased its popularity.
However, the boom was short-lived, as it became clear that clubhouses were not suitable for monetization, and the seemingly bizarre boom quickly died down in less than a month.
Elsewhere, in late 2017, Facebook Inc. at the time began testing a Snapchat rival called ”Direct”, which was shut down in 2019. “BeReal”, which was said to be gaining popularity among Generation Z, is also currently struggling.
New apps are born and disappear every day in the U.S. The main reason for this is the small number of users in the early stages of an app launch. Social media platforms are valuable because they are places where many people gather, and they grow through their network effect. A platform with little content and activity may get new users, but is unlikely to retain active users over the long term.
In this regard, Threads has a huge advantage over other apps because it is linked to the Instagram account, which already has 2 billion existing monthly active users. Over the past two days, most companies have begun posting on their official Threads accounts, and celebrities and influencers have also been actively sending out calls for people to follow their new Threads accounts. If it can continue to attract and retain the users it has now acquired, Threads will be well ahead of Twitter, which reported 238 million daily active users as of the end of June 2022.
In addition, each industry should pay close attention to how this meta-initiated app will develop as a community and benefit their own businesses in the future.