At first, I wasn’t going to sign up for Threads — then I did. Then my friends did. And my co-workers. And my dad, whose first thread was about how “stoked” he was to be there.
While I have yet to fully submerge myself into the…thread-sphere? Thread-a-verse? The sheer simplicity of joining (you can sign up with a single click if you link through Instagram) made it all too easy to hop on — apparently for millions of others, too.
Threads, the text-based app by Meta, has rapidly gained popularity since its launch less than a week ago to the surprise of Meta employees. The company reportedly anticipated millions of users, not 100 million, which it garnered in just five days, making it the fastest-growing platform ever, according to data from Quiver Quantitative.
Related: Analysts Say ‘Twitter’s Traffic Is Tanking’ as Threads Hits 100 Million Users
“I never thought I’d want Zuckerberg to beat Twitter, but here we are,” a former Twitter employee told Business Insider, with another source adding that Threads is the “first legit competitor” to Twitter.
“I’m so surprised. Everyone is,” a Meta employee told the outlet.
Still, it’s not perfect, and users have been calling out the platform for its flaws, including the lack of a chronological feed, showing posts from accounts users follow, the absence of direct messaging, and the inability to see which posts a user has already liked — a feature I often utilize on Twitter to return to an account or remind myself to read something later.
Responding to the feedback, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, confirmed that a chronological feed is in the works and is among several planned updates for Threads, BBC reported, including the ability to edit a post, language translation, easier account switching, improvements to the desktop interface, and a “more robust search function.”
Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter in October 2022, made a series of changes to the app (most of which have been met with scathing feedback from users) and has found himself on the defensive. With only five days since the launch, Musk has engaged in a heated exchange with Zuckerberg via cease-and-desist letters and social media posts (all of which are very public, and very embarrassing).
Elon Musk has directly called out Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg following the launch of Threads. Mandel Ngan | Getty Images
Threads is not a perfect app, but let’s face it: It had impeccable timing. The app emerged as many many Twitter users were already on their way out.
Related: Elon Musk Jet-Tracking Account Joins Threads After It Was Permanently Suspended From Twitter
In truth, I miss the old Twitter, and if anything, Threads makes me miss it more. I’m still on the platform — well, both platforms now — it’s just…different. Neither feels quite “right.” Threads may be a viable alternative, but until Meta addresses the much-needed updates — or until Twitter gets its act together — I’ll be on the sidelines, keeping whatever bite-size thoughts I once would have shared with the internet in my head (far away from both Musk and Zuckerberg).
Wall Street, however, is definitely on board. Analysts anticipate Threads to become a lucrative source of revenue for Meta, potentially generating $8 billion annually if it reaches 200 million users, per Bloomberg.