Meta, the parent company of social media giant Facebook, has made a splash in the tech world once again with the surprise launch of its latest app, Threads. Dubbed as a potential “Twitter killer,” Threads has already garnered significant attention and generated mixed reactions from users due to some controversial details in its fine print.
Threads made its debut earlier than expected on Thursday morning, catching many by surprise. Meta’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced on the app that it had surpassed an astounding 10 million sign-ups within just seven hours of going live. If this claim holds true, it would be a remarkable feat, far surpassing the growth rates of other Twitter alternatives. To put it into perspective, Twitter itself took over two years to reach 10 million accounts after its launch in 2006. Currently, Twitter has around 350 million users, according to Statista.
What sets Threads apart from other social media platforms is its affiliation with Meta, a tech behemoth with billions of users across its suite of social media apps. Threads is officially categorized as an “Instagram app,” meaning users can only join the text-based service if they already have an Instagram account. This approach simplifies the onboarding process, allowing any of Instagram’s two billion users to create a Threads profile with a single click. By doing so, their Instagram followers and personalized account features seamlessly transfer to the new app.
The decision to link the fate of Threads to that of Instagram has fueled speculation about Meta’s intentions. Critics argue that this tactic could be an attempt to ensure the success of Threads by relying on the popularity and user base of Instagram, an already-established platform.
Privacy advocates and concerned users have voiced their dissatisfaction with this policy, arguing that it limits their control over their own data and account choices. They emphasize the importance of having the option to delete a Threads account independently from an Instagram account, preserving the autonomy of users’ online presence.
Despite the controversy, the rapid uptake of Threads demonstrates the potential for Meta to leverage its existing user base and disrupt the social media landscape once again. Time will tell whether Threads can live up to its ambitious goals and provide a viable alternative to Twitter, or if its success will be overshadowed by privacy concerns and user dissatisfaction.