Meta’s new app Threads passed more than 70 million registered users on July 7, two days after launching to the public.
Threads users link their account to Instagram, where a badge displays the number of people who previously signed up for the app. At 9 a.m. MDT on July 7, there were more than 70 million users registered. An hour later, the number jumped to more than 71 million users. At 3 p.m., there were more than 75 million users registered.
According to Statista, it took Facebook roughly 10 months to reach 1 million registered users when it first launched in 2004. Twitter took roughly two years to reach 1 million registered users after launching in 2006. Threads reached 1 million registered users in just one hour.
Meta announced the release of Threads to the general public on June 5. According to the press release, Threads was designed to offer “a new, separate space for real-time updates and public conversations.” The press release announced that Instagram users would be able to easily link their Instagram accounts with Threads. The release also shared plans to allow Threads to connect with other social media apps, including Mastodon, WordPress and Tumblr.
BYU professor Scott Church, associate professor in the School of Communications, specializes in studying popular and online culture. Church published an article with BYU professor Pamela Brubaker and University of Arizona professor Daniel Montez in 2021 regarding the behavior of internet “trolls” on social media platform Reddit. Trolls often post comments intended to rile up others around them with inflammatory language to provoke emotional responses.
“From Meta’s release, it looks like Threads is a place intended to create a more positive online space,” Church said. “Whether or not they’ll succeed, who knows.”
Church said new social media platforms need friends for users to interact with and need to appear cool to prospective users. Younger generation users will congregate on a new social media platform, but as the platform becomes commercialized and older generation users start to gather, the younger generation users will abandon the platform to go somewhere else. Church said that this cycle appears to happen often with social media platforms.
“The best I can do is give a wait and see approach,” he said.
BYU senior Evan Jack first heard about Threads on Twitter a week before Threads was set to launch. He mainly heard about it through users online as they “talked about Twitter dying.” Jack said that he might as well join Threads. According to data from Statista, Twitter averaged 397 million monthly users in 2022, with projections for 2023 averaging 415 million monthly users.
Jack said that the number of users did not impress him. He thinks that many people signed up without actually posting anything to their Threads account. Out of the many people that he does follow on Threads, Jack said “almost no one” has posted content.
“I feel like Twitter is dying, and will eventually be replaced, but there are a lot of other social media sites out there, so that doesn’t necessarily mean that Threads is the one to replace it,” he said.
Threads is available on the App Store and Google Play for free download. As additional users sign up for the app, time will tell whether or not it will be successful.