Meta's Threads, the highly anticipated Twitter clone, has made an explosive debut, garnering an overwhelming number of signups on its inaugural day. Within just two hours of going live on the App Store, Meta Twitter killer surpassed two million registrations, demonstrating a remarkable momentum that shows no signs of slowing down. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, celebrated this significant milestone by announcing it on his Threads account.
Prior to its launch, Threads by Meta created buzz through a smart cross-promotion on Instagram, notifying interested users about its availability for "pre-order" on iOS. The deep integration of Threads with Instagram is evident as Instagram profiles now prominently display a Threads user number, providing transparent and real-time tracking of its growing user base.
For users who had eagerly signed up for the Threads pre-launch, the moment they had been waiting for arrived with a push notification on Wednesday afternoon. They wasted no time immersing themselves in the latest app offering from Meta.
As Twitter struggles to stay afloat, facing challenges such as rate limits imposed by its parent company, the demand for a viable replacement has become insatiable. While other platforms like Mastodon and Bluesky have briefly captured attention, they come with their own compromises. Mastodon's intimidating sign-up process and the uncertainty surrounding the fediverse have created hesitancy among users. Bluesky, despite initial enthusiasm, is now plagued by concerns that it may repeat the moderation mistakes of its predecessor, along with the shadow of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who supported Elon Musk's takeover and currently serves on Bluesky's board.
In a surprising move, Mark Zuckerberg himself took to Twitter, breaking a decade-long silence, to celebrate the launch of the Threads Meta app. The anticipation is palpable as this Threads from Meta is expected to attract substantial engagement, especially with Twitter struggling and other potential successor apps failing to consolidate its fragmented user base.
While acquiring signups for a new app is no easy task, the real challenge lies in retaining users. Meta has taken a unique approach with Threads by foregoing a chronological or follower-specific feed. Instead, they rely on a carefully crafted algorithmic mix to captivate users and keep them engaged within the app. However, it is worth noting that Threads does not replicate Twitter's standout feature: a pure, uncluttered timeline devoid of algorithmic interference. Unfortunately, this seems to be a common compromise among Twitter imitations.
Nevertheless, it is still early days for Meta's Threads. The development team has promised to incorporate fediverse-friendly integration, deviating from Meta's usual walled-garden-stuffed-with-ads approach. Whether Threads by Meta will give users more freedom in curating their content remains to be seen.