Meta’s Threads messaging app pulled at least 30 million signups in its first 24 hours, and may be closer to 50 million, according to a credible report.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the lower number at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, just 21 hours after the so-called “Twitter Killer” launched at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday.
“Wow, 30 million signups as of this morning,” he posted on Threads. “Feels like the beginning of something special, but we’ve got a lot of work ahead to build out the app.”
But as of 8 p.m. ET Thursday, one tech industry source was indicating that signups were actually approaching 50 million.
Threads “has surpassed 48 million sign-ups, per internal Meta data shared with me,” Alex Heath, deputy editor of The Verge and author of the weekly tech industry newsletter Command Line, posted on Threads.
Heath — who posted an interview with Adam Mosseri, the Instagram chief overseeing Threads, one minute after Threads went live on Wednesday evening — did not indicate how he obtained the internal Meta data, or provide any insight as to why Zuckerberg had not yet touted the 48 million number.
But earlier on Thursday, he had also reported that Threads had already amassed more than 95 million posts and 190 million likes shared — again based on leaked Meta data.
In its first day, Threads outstripped ChatGPT as the most rapidly downloaded app ever, and is on track to exceed ChatGPT’s first of accumulating 100 million users within two months, reported the New York Times.
Perhaps not surprising, then, that Twitter owner Elon Musk is now threatening to sue Meta over Threads.
Twitter has an estimated 1.6 to 2 billion accounts, claims more than 200 million daily users and, despite all of its troubles, had recently been adding more than 500,000 installs per day, according to Data.ai.
However, Threads’ rapid growth could be slowed to some extent by concerns about its privacy practices, particularly in Europe — where it has yet to launch, citing “the complexities with complying with some of the laws coming into effect next year,” in Mosseri’s words.
Meta is reportedly concerned about the Digital Markets Act that will soon be implemented by the European Union. The act imposes numerous legal obligations on Meta and other large, “gatekeeper” platforms, including precluding platforms from transferring personal data between products, which seems to be the case with Threads and Instagram.
European regulators already dinged Meta for transferring data after it acquired the WhatsApp messaging app, and consumers in the EU tend to be wary of companies with a history of privacy violations.
Threads is also being panned by some users, particularly due to its lack of a chronological, following-only feed -- one of the features still in the works, according to Meta.
But intentionally or not, Meta has built in an anti-uninstall poison pill. Instagram users will find that uninstalling Threads also automatically causes their Instagram accounts to be deleted.