Threads, Meta’s rival to Twitter, has sent seismic waves through the social media landscape, amassing over 70 million worldwide downloads since its launch on 5 July. The app currently remains in pole position on the top free apps charts of both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

On Wednesday, 5 July 2023, the co-founder, CEO, and controlling shareholder of Meta welcomed users to Threads with the message, “Let’s do this.” Within the first seven hours, more than 10 million users signed up, raising speculation about the potential impact on Twitter, which was acquired by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in October 2022.

Threads allows users to engage in open and public conversations, similar to Twitter. It curates threads from followed users and recommends content through its algorithm. Unlike Instagram, the platform currently does not support direct messaging between users but enables sharing of posts to Instagram Story and Feed. Users can also create reposts, similar to Twitter’s “retweet” function.

The opportunity to compete with Twitter arose from the perceived decline in Twitter’s activity under Elon Musk’s leadership. A May 2023 report by Pew Research Centre noted a decrease in posting frequency among Twitter’s most active users. However, Elon Musk has reportedly expressed disinterest in Threads and even announced the cancellation of his Instagram account, stating a preference for Twitter’s critical environment over Instagram’s artificial happiness.

Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram, sees Threads as a risky yet promising venture. He describes it as a platform designed for public conversations, aligning with Twitter’s portrayal over the years. Mosseri acknowledges the challenge of introducing a new app that requires users to download it.

Threads is currently available in 100 countries, excluding the European Union, due to compliance complexities with upcoming legislation. Facebook and Instagram employ algorithmic curation focused on entertainment rather than news. Some tech enthusiasts speculate that Threads could potentially replace Twitter, earning it the nickname “Twitter-Killer.” Mark Zuckerberg, in a post on his Threads account, expresses the vision of having a billion people on a public conversations app and hopes that Threads will achieve that.

Meta, under Zuckerberg’s leadership, has a history of replicating features from other social media platforms. However, the success of this strategy is not guaranteed, as seen in Facebook’s unsuccessful attempt to clone Snapchat. Nevertheless, Meta continues to imitate its competitors.