The newly launched “Twitter-Killer” app Threads has grown tremendously—but will it continue to grow and be profitable?
- Threads made history on Monday with the announcement that it had gained 100 million signups in five days—rivaling Twitter’s reported base of 240 million daily users and 535 million monthly users.
- It remains unclear how Threads will monetize this newfound rapid success, as the new app still lacks the content and features that could hold its new large base of users.
- Threads functions like a combination of Instagram and TikTok, with an interface very similar to Twitter’s, but has already made it clear that it will generally be discouraging negative or political content, according to Instagram boss Adam Mosseri.
- The rapid growth of the website means that organic communities and a collective understanding of the site’s identity have developed yet, meaning that Threads has a short time to establish what it is and why users should stay, The Daily Upside’s Isobel Asher Hamilton argues.
Why It’s Important
Twitter owner Elon Musk and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg are in a race to develop the next great social media app, with the former rushing to implement monetization, video-sharing, and financial features into his network and transform it into the “everything app.”
Zuckerberg’s intentions for Threads are more modest, to take advantage of and facilitate the decline of Twitter by drawing in disenfranchised and frustrated social media users to his highly similar app.
Threads has pushed this by mirroring many of Twitter’s key features and trends, creating an app that is more positive and driven by social influencers, and actively disincentivizing newsy content in the process. The atmosphere has drawn criticism from Twitter proponents that Threads is far more censorious than its free speech-oriented predecessor.
“Meta has spent a large period of time now trying to distance itself from news and news publishers and journalism in general, and politics. If people start sharing news there and discussing news there, make it more of a Twitter, it will be more of a Twitter. The downside to adding 100 million users in a week is that no one really knew what the platform was, or is, or could be. No communities, or clusters of communities, or sense of community, really even developed,” Geekout Newsletter author Matt Navarra tells The Daily Upside.
“While Meta deserves accolades for the most successful online platform launch in history, time will tell whether Threads will be a replay of Stories’ success against Snapchat or Reels’ relegation to a stepchild of Tiktok. Leveraging Instagram’s infrastructure and social graphs with a slick interface and hints of decentralization, at the same time that Twitter was facing criticism for limiting activity to surface and eliminate bots, could prove brilliant as a go-to-market strategy,” says ARK Invest associate portfolio manager Nick Grous—who also notes that Threads could potentially become a powerful competitor to Twitter.