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Meta’s rival app to Twitter gets tens of millions of sign-ups

Published:Friday 12:12 AM

Logos for Twitter and Meta’s new app called Threads.

Tens of millions of people have quickly signed up to Meta’s new app, Threads, as it aims to compete with Twitter — a sign that users are looking for an alternative to the social media platform that has undergone a series of unpopular changes since Elon Musk bought it.

Meta Platforms’ CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that 30 million people had registered for the app, including 10 million in the first seven hours of its launch Wednesday in the United States and over 100 other countries, including Britain, Australia, Canada and Japan.

Threads is billed as a text-based version of Meta’s photo-sharing app Instagram that the company says provides “a new, separate space for real-time updates and public conversations.”

Instagram users can log in with their existing usernames and follow the same accounts on the new app, giving Threads users a ready-made audience and an edge over other Twitter challengers like Bluesky and Mastodon.

“I think I’ll just see — I’ll keep Twitter for a while and then if everyone moves over there (to Threads), then I’ll probably move,” said Javi de Andreas, a 24-year-old researcher in London.

He added that Instagram “feels like a bit more reliable just in terms of nothing really changes.”

There was plenty of excitement among Threads users about the opportunity to make a fresh start on a new social media app, giving Threads a “first day of school” vibe.

Early adopters included celebrities like chef Gordon Ramsay, pop star Shakira and actor Jack Black as well as Airbnb, Guinness World Records, Netflix, Vogue magazine and other media outlets.

There were also glitches, annoyance about the lack of a chronological feed and gripes about missing features — raising the question of whether the initial burst of interest would lead to sustained growth that could pose a meaningful challenge to Twitter.

“The euphoria around a new service and this initial explosion will probably settle down,” said Paolo Pescatore, a technology analyst at PP Foresight. “But it is apparent that this alternative is here to stay and will prove to be a worthy rival given all of Twitter’s woes.”

Teething problems for Threads include Zuckerberg’s posts — or Threads as they’re dubbed — not loading in several countries. But his replies to other users did appear.


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