Just in February 2023 ChatGPT became the fastest in history in reaching 100 million users. And now Meta's Threads is the fastest in history to reach 100 million users using only 5 days. What a difference 5 months make. Two insights:
1️. What makes Threads adoption so fast?
Threads is Meta’s Instagram branded rival to Twitter. It is a text-based microblogging site launched last Wednesday (July 6th). So why did its adoption SKYROCKET to 100 million users in 5 short days?
It is riding on the back of 2 BILLION Instagram users. What is unique about Threads is its tie up to Instagram. The other Twitter alternatives (like Mastodon or Bluesky) meant that new users would need to start building up their followers FROM ZERO. Threads circumvents this by allowing new Threads users to immediately 'transfer' your existing Instagram followers. So it is no surprise that it hit 100 million users in 5 short days unlike the inherent challenge of brand new platforms.
There's actually a term for this called "Metcalfe's Law". Metcalfe’s Law states the effect of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system. Simply explained this means new businesses or services that can harness the 'network effect' can gain users at unprecedented rates. This is why social media and the internet-based businesses are able to take off so much quicker than say airplanes, the use of electricity or the telephone because there was no network in place beforehand.
2️. Is Threads a "Twitter Killer"?
The short answer is "no". It is not because Twitter at 300 million users can't be DWARFED by the uprising of Threads. It's because they are unique in their offering.
Key differences between Twitter and Threads:
1) Privacy concerns with Threads: The European Union (EU) has much stricter data protection laws than the US and Threads is currently banned from the EU which means Threads will unlikely have the immediate global footprint that Twitter does.
2) Moderation may be a concern: Threads utilises a moderation approach which is more 'big brother' in nature and raises concerns about misinformation or censorship unlike Twitter.
3) Features still developing: It is less of a concern but currently you can't search content on Threads which makes finding content impossible. Also, it is missing unique features that Twitter has, like social audio called Twitter Spaces (similar to Clubhouse).
What other "Twitter alternatives" like Mastedon or Bluesky has shown is there is room for all to co-exist.
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