Early this morning, Meta’s new Twitter rival, Threads, hit 100 million sign-ups, less than a week after launch. This makes Threads the fastest growing online platform in history, dethroning ChatGPT, which took two months to reach the same number of users. 

When Mark Zuckerberg commented (posting on Threads, naturally) on hitting 70 million users on Friday last week, he stated this was already “way beyond our expectations.” However, it is still a long way to go to the two-billion user base accessible through Instagram. 

It is worth noting that the record-breaking growth is despite Threads currently being unavailable on EU app stores due to privacy concerns. Meanwhile, even within the bloc, non-Apple addicts can download the app using an Android package kit, or APK. (UK iPhone users, download at will.)

Some major organisations such as French media outlets Le Monde and Agence France-Presse have reportedly found ways to circumvent geographical challenges to signing up, as have, ahem, we

The rivalry thus far: cage fights and trade secrets

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Naturally, the launch of the new microblogging app from the people who brought us Facebook did not go by without protests from camp Elon. Apart from the cage match challenge (which we are all not-so-secretly hoping might still take place), Musk has threatened to sue Threads over “stealing trade secrets.” 

Meta issued a response (again, posting on Threads) saying that: “No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee — that’s just not a thing.” However, the launch of Threads could not have been more optimally timed, coinciding with a bunch of missteps form Musk including limiting the number of tweets users could view in a day. 

When Twitter (founded in 2006, for those of you who may have been too young to remember) went public in 2013, it had 200 million users. The takeover by Musk went through in October 2022, sparking some controversy, and causing the app to lose about 32 million users. 

However, the latest statistics show that Twitter still has 368 million monthly active users worldwide. Furthermore, it counts 206 million monetisable daily users, with about 90% of Twitter’s revenue coming from advertising in 2022. 

Of course, if Threads continues to increase user numbers at this rate, it could indeed become a serious contender for the text-based throne. Initially, there will be no ads on Threads while the company “fine-tunes” the app. However, Zuckerberg has said that once Threads is on its way to one billion users, Meta will start thinking about monetising the newest addition to its portfolio.

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