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Threads divides opinion as Zuckerberg eyes 1 billion users

A new social platform is here, but what are people saying?
Last Updated on July 6, 2023
Threads - threads site and interface screenshots
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Instagram Threads launched a day early on July 5th, ignoring its own countdown clock, and users wasted no time in making their feelings known about the new social media platform. While huge global interest has been focused on the new Meta product, new arrivals have been busy rushing through the gates and making themselves at home…or not.

In one of his own posts on Threads on Wednesday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted that 10 million new users arrived on the app in seven hours – a huge number, considering it’s reported Twitter only had around 54 million users in the whole of 2010 – the year of its launch. Social media has come a long way in 13 years of course, and there’s certainly a sense of a ‘first-day’ rush about Threads. As with any new online service, people will flock to it before deciding whether it’s for them. And they have.

Threads – mixed reactions

So far views so far have been divided. While many have referred to the ‘clean UI’, a ‘first day at school’ feel, and an appreciation for a lack of ads (so far), other users have been less optimistic. Initial criticisms appear to focus on there being no ‘trending area’ in the app as yet, while some users have called the app “mid Twitter”, and a “Twitter copycat”.

Users have also cast shade on the potential for Meta to collect more data from users – something Twitter CEO Elon Musk referred to earlier this week in saying, “thank goodness they’re so sanely run“. Concern about data is something Twitter Co-founder Jack Dorsey has also pointed out. Meanwhile, one user made a priority of blocking Zuckerberg, claiming to be the first to do so, purely because they could.

Can Threads reach 1 billion users?

One of the more interesting posts on threads in the first 24 hours has been from Zuckerberg himself – alluding to how much growth the platform may see. Posting in response to UFC Lightweight fighter Mike Davis, who asked, “Anyone think this can become bigger than Twitter!?”, Zuckerberg responded:

“It’ll take some time but I think there should be a public conversations app with 1billion+ people on it. Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it. Hopefully we will.”

Although we don’t know Meta’s internal projections for take-up of Threads, there are already more than 1 billion active Instagram users. Sign-up for Threads by those users is as simple as installing the app, importing your Instagram profile, and choosing to follow the accounts you already follow. Ease of access will be integral to new users arriving at the platform. But whether it can reach the heights Zuckerberg would like remains to be seen. Twitter currently has around 400 million active users.

Kevin is the Editor of PC Guide. He has a broad interest and enthusiasm for consumer electronics, PCs and all things consumer tech - and more than 15 years experience in tech journalism.