On Monday, July 10, Threads, a new Twitter-like app from Meta, surpassed 100 million users, making it the fastest-growing social media platform ever. Mark Zuckerberg, the site’s CEO, announced that it had reached that milestone in just five days with a post on the website.
With Instagram-backed Threads quickly surpassing Mastodon, Post, and other text-based social media sites trying to compete with Twitter, this development demonstrates the strength of the Meta ecosystem. Currently, Meta only allows the two billion or so people who already have accounts on the photo-sharing app access to Threads.
The achievement by Threads tops ChatGPT’s earlier-set record for the fastest-growing internet business. It only took the well-known AI tool two months to reach 100 million users worldwide. Prior to it, the record belonged to the Chinese video social network TikTok, which in less than two years amassed 100 million users.
Twitter is under siege.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, vowed to sue Meta after the release of Threads over claims that the company had used former Twitter employees and proprietary information to create the app.
In a letter to Zuckerberg, Musk’s attorney Alex Spiro raised “serious concerns that Meta has engaged in systematic, willful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property.”
With the equivalent of more than a third of Twitter’s user base joining Threads in less than a week, it certainly appears like the social media platform could soon become a Twitter killer.
Due in part to the CEO’s choices to charge for verification, restrict the number of tweets one may see each day, and scale back hate speech protections for transgender users, Twitter’s reputation has suffered under Musk’s leadership.
What are the most popular social media services?
Facebook: Some 2.9 billion people, or a third of all humans on Earth, use Meta’s flagship service.
YouTube: Although it’s not a traditional social media, the video-sharing site has a whopping 2.5 billion users, who stream more than 5 billion videos a day.
Instagram: About two billion people use Meta’s photo-sharing app. Its massive user base has given Threads a serious head start.
TikTok: Frequented by more than a billion people worldwide, the Chinese-owned video-sharing service is the most popular app among US teenagers, 16% of whom say they use it “almost constantly.”
Twitter: One of the only major social media platforms not in the billions, Twitter had 238 million users this past summer, the last time it reported earnings. While Musk claims the number of users has grown since then, an exact number is impossible to verify.