Just five days after launching in over 100 countries, Threads, the new text-based social media app released by Meta, has over 100 million registered users. This impressive figure is even more notable seeing as the platform has not yet been approved for launch in countries in the European Union (due to regulatory concerns relating to the app’s use of users’ data).
But what does this figure really mean for Threads’ future, as well as that of Twitter, which has for the longest time been the champion of purely text-based social media?
In the case of Threads, not a lot. All these users haven’t signed up for Meta’s new platform, which combines the functionality and aesthetics of Instagram with the layout of a classic Twitter timeline, because it’s bringing something new and exciting to the social media world. By surpassing 100 million users, Meta has simply flexed the muscles of its network with Threads. With over 2.95 billion and 1 billion monthly users of Facebook and Instagram respectively, how surprising is it that a pretty minor fraction of these users have set up shop on a widely publicised platform from the same creators?
As for Twitter, however, if none of the turbulent events of the past 10 or so months were the beginning of the end, the emergence of Threads may well be. With advertising revenue plummeting since the company’s takeover by Elon Musk and disappointing Twitter Blue subscriber numbers failing to account for the lost money, the platform may struggle to recover if, or when, it gets overtaken in popularity by Threads, especially if Musk’s aggressive financial approach continues to yield measly results.
Is any of this a good thing?
Twitter has, for many years now, been the epicentre of many important and worthy social media campaigns, causes and investigations. Many notable public figures have, rightly or wrongly, either lost or kept their job thanks to public outcry, much of which took place and was maintained on Twitter. For example, in March of this year, BBC presenter Gary Lineker was forced to step back from his role as Match of the Day presenter due to tweets criticising the British government, before subsequently being reinstated thanks to overwhelming social media support.
Now, both Twitter and Threads, the world’s biggest text-based social media platforms, are owned by billionaire moguls, both of whom are no strangers to scandal. Elon Musk, among a myriad of controversies, has had his fair share of controversial, contradictory and unsubstantiated views on the Covid-19 pandemic. Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, has been at the helm of Facebook throughout the major Cambridge Analytica scandal, which involved data from Facebook being used by figures in countries such as the US and Russia in order to build profiles of election voters and influence elections in both America and the UK.
Perhaps Threads will manage to harness the level of societal influence Twitter once succeeded in cultivating. However, without becoming a hub for the masses to mobilise and generate collective power, this will be difficult.
No matter what place Threads will take in the overall landscape of social media, its growth is currently undeniable and, as a business, this means there are audiences you can reach. However, figuring out how to do this is another story. If you want to learn how to create content that resonates with your target audience, this is exactly what our Social Media & Content Masterclass is all about. Book your place on our 1-day workshop now, and say goodbye to social media struggles forever.
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