Threads is more than holding it together. Meta’s Twitter clone gained 30 million sign-ups in the first 24 hours after it launched Wednesday evening, putting it on pace to become the fastest-growing consumer app in history. The record is currently held by ChatGPT, which recorded 100 million active users in two months.
What is Threads? The hot new way for brands to ask if pineapple belongs on pizza for the 1,000th time. Threads is Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s attempt to do what many others have tried and failed before him: Bring the public conversation from Twitter over to a rival app.
Threads has impressive early traction, which can be attributed to users’ ability to link it to their existing Instagram accounts and port over followers. That’s why the app has a distinctly Michael Rubin White Party vibe in its early days, with celebrities like the Kardashians and brands dominating the algorithmically curated feed.
How is Threads different from Twitter?
Well, that algorithmically curated feed, for one. The Meta team said it’s looking into creating a “following”-only feed, but right now you’re stuck sorting through influencers and verified accounts to find your friends—unlike Twitter, which offers a “for you” feed and a “following” feed.
Here are some other differences between the two apps:
- Threads is pretty much mobile-only as it’s extremely limited on desktop. Meta said a desktop version is in the works.
- Threads does not have a reverse-chronological feed.
- There are no hashtags or keyword search functions in Threads, so users can’t follow trending topics or events in real time like on Twitter. These functions are also on the list for future updates, according to Meta.
- Threads doesn’t have DMs to slide into.
Musk fires back
Facing its most significant threat yet, Twitter threatened to sue Meta, accusing the company of poaching its employees to build Threads. Twitter lawyer Alex Spiro demanded that “Meta take immediate steps to stop using any Twitter trade secrets or other highly confidential information.”
In a statement to Semafor, Meta’s comms head Andy Stone denied hiring ex-Twitter employees to work on the Threads engineering team, saying, “That’s just not a thing.”
Bottom line: Zuck has to be feeling good right now, having built an easily monetizable user base that’s already 13% of Twitter’s 229 million users in less than a day. But Threads is just an infant, and it remains to be seen whether it’s the Twitter killer everyone has been waiting for, a boring version of Instagram, or something else entirely.