Threads, a new app positioned as a rival to Twitter, witnessed an impressive influx of more than 10 million users in its initial hours, according to Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta.
Launched in the UK at midnight on Thursday, Threads, developed by Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, allows users to share text posts of up to 500 characters, along with videos, links, and images, through its integration with Instagram.
Renowned figures such as chef Gordon Ramsay, pop star Shakira, and YouTuber Mark Hoyle, popularly known as LadBaby, have already joined the app and actively engaged with it.
Posting under the username “zuck” and expressing his astonishment with a mind blown emoji, Mark Zuckerberg announced, “10 million sign up in seven hours.” He further expressed his belief that there should be a public conversations app with over a billion users, noting that Twitter had the opportunity but failed to achieve it.
This new app adds another chapter to the ongoing rivalry between Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter in October. Last month, the two high-profile billionaires engaged in a viral exchange on social media, where they agreed to participate in a cage fight against each other.
Threads users can log in using their Instagram accounts and connect with friends and influencers who share similar interests. Users under the age of 18 in the UK will be automatically set to a private profile upon joining. The app’s feed includes content from followed individuals as well as recommendations from creators users may not have discovered yet.
Posts on Threads can be shared on users’ Instagram stories and other platforms via links. Users have control over who can mention and reply to their posts. Additionally, the app provides filters to block replies containing specific words, the ability to unfollow, block, restrict, and report other users, and automatically applies Instagram’s safety guidelines.
Meta aims to eventually enable interaction on the Threads platform for users without an account, ushering in a “new era of diverse and interconnected networks.” Public profile posts will be accessible from other apps, while private profile posts will require user approval for new followers.
Industry analyst Matt Navarra considers Threads the “first credible threat” to Twitter. He believes users of Twitter are seeking alternatives to escape the platform, and existing options are limited. The advantage for Meta lies in building Threads upon Instagram’s existing user base and leveraging the familiar social graph to help users quickly establish their following.
While users desire change, their reception of Meta’s products will be influenced by the mixed public opinions surrounding the company. Navarra acknowledges the baggage and skepticism associated with Meta and Instagram due to concerns over Mark Zuckerberg’s actions.
The launch of Threads follows Twitter’s announcement that TweetDeck will be restricted to verified users. Elon Musk also recently declared that non-verified users on Twitter will be limited to reading only 1,000 posts per day.