|The Microblogging Wars have begun.
I’ve been using my Twitter account since 2009 as the primary way to broadcast the stories I write to my followers. In the past couple of months, I’ve signed up for a handful of new apps—like Mastodon and Bluesky—that are angling to unseat Twitter from the microblogging throne.
This past week, Facebook and Instagram parent Meta Platforms entered the cage match.
Meta on Wednesday introduced Threads, a new microblogging app built off of Instagram. Covering the app’s debut was chaotic as Meta kept changing its plans, but Threads’s launch couldn’t have gone any better for Mark Zuckerberg and company.
The morning after its release, Threads hit 30 million sign-ups. By Friday, the user tally had more than doubled to 70 million. This far exceeds the estimates for the active user bases of Mastodon, Bluesky and Truth Social. It’s also “way beyond” Meta’s expectations, Zuckerberg said on Threads.
There are three reasons Meta had such a successful launch. The company leveraged Instagram’s popularity to let users seamlessly sign up for the new app. Meta also did a great job mimicking Twitter’s most basic features. And finally, many people have grown tired of how Twitter has been run under Elon Musk’s ownership.
Musk’s tumultuous tenure has created an opening for other players, and now it’s got Zuckerberg dreaming big. Meta’s CEO said Wednesday that he believed there should be a public-conversation app with more than 1 billion users.
“Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it,” Zuckerberg wrote on Threads. “Hopefully we will.”