Meta's Twitter competitor is off to a flying start. In under five days of the app going live, Threads already has more than 100 million users according Quiver Quantitative's Threads Tracker. It helps that Threads is a sibling app to Instagram and it's easy for the image-sharing platform's billion-plus users to sign up — unless they live in the European Union, where it's not yet available.
Mark Zuckerberg, Meta's CEO, has provided several updates on Threads' user numbers. The app had 10 million users in the first seven hours and more than 30 million by Thursday morning. Around 24 hours later, that figure had more than doubled.
It’s very, very early days for Threads, as the app is missing basic features that many users see as essential. It has minimal accessibility options at the minute, with no way to append alt text to an image for those who use screen readers. Search is limited to usernames, there’s no hashtag support and you can't post to Threads from the web.
Perhaps most gallingly of all for folks used to Twitter, Threads doesn’t yet have a chronological feed of posts. The algorithmic feed is full of brands, influencers and celebrities, making it difficult for users to keep up with what friends and family are posting. A chronological feed is on the way, but Twitter may still be many people's app of choice for up-to-the-minute news.
"Politics and hard news are inevitably going to show up on Threads — they have on Instagram as well to some extent — but we're not going to do anything to encourage those verticals," Instagram head Adam Mosseri wrote, noting that the aim of Threads isn't to replace Twitter.
"Politics and hard news are important, I don't want to imply otherwise," Mosseri added. "But my take is, from a platform's perspective, any incremental engagement or revenue they might drive is not at all worth the scrutiny, negativity (let's be honest), or integrity risks that come along with them. There are more than enough amazing communities — sports, music, fashion, beauty, entertainment, etc — to make a vibrant platform without needing to get into politics or hard news."
Quiver Quantitative's Threads Tracker uses data taken from Instagram users' profiles, according to the person who built the tool, co-founder Christopher Kardatzke. "By viewing the profiles of people who joined the platform, I can see where they were in line and get a general idea of how many users have signed up," he said. He added that the estimates appear to line up with Zuckerberg's Threads posts about user milestones.