Meta’s Threads poses a significant threat to Elon Musk’s Twitter due to its wide access to billions of Instagram users, a similar user interface to its rival, and the advertising strength of the social media giant, according to industry experts and analysts.
Threads, known as the Twitter-Killer, experienced a staggering 10 million sign-ups within the first seven hours of its launch, with prominent figures like Kim Kardashian and Gordon Ramsay among its early adopters, Reuters news report said.
Niklas Myhr, a marketing professor at Chapman University, noted that Meta’s release of Threads coincided perfectly with the upheaval at Twitter, which had recently imposed restrictions on the number of tweets users could view.
Myhr believes this timing could give Threads a fighting chance to overthrow Twitter. He added, “Threads will have a head start since it is built upon the Instagram platform, with its enormous user base. If users embrace Threads, advertisers will undoubtedly follow suit.”
Although Threads is a standalone app, users can easily sign in using their Instagram credentials, making it a seamless addition for Instagram’s more than 2 billion monthly active users. In comparison, Twitter had 229 million monthly active users in May 2022, prior to Musk’s acquisition of the platform. Another Twitter-like app called Mastodon boasts 1.7 million monthly active users, according to the company’s website.
Several analysts drew parallels between Threads and Meta’s successful integration of essential features from platforms like Snapchat and TikTok into Instagram, such as Stories and Reels, respectively.
Brokerages have raised their price targets for Meta, as the company’s shares have already doubled in value this year.
Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor, stated, “Although challenges may arise, Threads could potentially bolster Meta’s stock price if it proves to be successful, considering the significant number of initial sign-ups.”
Threads has gained popularity worldwide, being ranked as the top free app in Apple’s U.S. App Store, while Twitter held the 26th position. The app has also become a trending topic on Twitter, with many users sharing links to their profiles on Threads and posting memes. Even Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg joined in, posting on Twitter for the first time since 2012.
It is worth noting that Threads is currently in its early stages and lacks some features present on Twitter. Hashtags and keyword search functions are absent, preventing users from following real-time events as they would on Twitter. The app also lacks a direct messaging function and a desktop version, which certain users, particularly businesses, rely on.
Some users, including popular tech reviewer Marques Brownlee, have expressed the need for a feed that exclusively displays posts from the people one follows. Currently, users have limited control over their main feed.
Nevertheless, analysts have praised Threads as a formidable competitor to Twitter, a platform that has faced substantial turbulence since Musk’s acquisition for $44 billion last year. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed his hopes for a public conversations app with over one billion users, acknowledging that Twitter had the opportunity to achieve this but fell short.