The Twitter competitor went live in the App Store on Wednesday, a day earlier than expected, and as users signed up in droves, Zuckerberg highlighted the milestone.
Threads alerted users of its rollout through a splashy Instagram cross-promotion. The new Meta app requires an Instagram account to log in, and once signed up, users can opt to follow the same accounts they follow on Instagram — if they’ve already signed up for Threads, of course.
While visually the app mirrors Twitter, the terminology has been given the Meta treatment: Retweets have been swapped with “reposts” and tweets with “threads.” And while the majority of Twitter users are capped at 280 characters, Threads can reach 500 characters. Along with text, posts can include videos up to 5 minutes long and photos, plus links.
Zuckerberg’s strategy of poaching users from rival products has proved successful in the past. In 2020, Instagram launched Reels — made to mimic TikTok — in the U.S as the Bytedance-owned app battled the Trump administration. TikTok has continued to face legislative pushback, and some states have moved to ban the app.
As Elon Musk continues to set fire to Twitter since purchasing it in a $44 billion deal, the platform has undergone a series of devastating layoffs, widespread tech mishaps, and a failed paid verification plan, which has opened the doors for trolls and grifters to buy an algorithmic boost on the site. Researchers found that Twitter saw a spike in hate speech since Musk’s takeover.
Following yet another Twitter outage last week, competitor Bluesky said it experienced “record-high traffic” and had to temporarily pause sign-ups to address performance issues due to the influx of users.
Zuckerberg posted on Twitter Wednesday night for the first time in 10 years, commemorating the Threads launch in perfect memery.