Threads Expands To 175M Users In First Year, Can It Catch Up To X In Year Two?

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Mark Zuckerberg's power on the internet continues to grow whether you like it or not. After a year of operation, Zuck's X/Twitter alternative Threads has reached a whopping 175 million monthly active users. The Meta CEO made the announcement this week on, you guessed it, Threads.

This new metric comes as Threads celebrates its one-year anniversary. The app launched on July 5, 2023, just as the full gravity of Musk's realignment of Twitter (now called X) came into focus. Many of the communities that Twitter nurtured for 15 years were splintered by the influx of far-right trolls and misinformation, neither of which are prohibited on the new Twitter. There are several text-based social alternatives to Musk's social network, and it looks like Zuckerberg is collecting the majority of Twitter refugees.

The initial growth of Threads was meteoric—it reached 100 million users in just three months. While the expansion has since slowed, it is still moving in the right direction. This may be due to people trying alternatives like Mastodon and Blue Sky only to realize there's no one there with whom to interact. Threads has a lower barrier to entry because it's tied into Meta's Instagram network and gets promotion in the Instagram app.

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Even with its Instagram advantage, it's impressive that over 175 million people are regularly using Threads. Many younger internet users have moved away from text-based social networks, but Twitter arrived at a time (2006) when streaming video was difficult—YouTube had only been founded the previous year, and the early 3G networks of the time topped out around 1Mbps. Twitter was also designed around SMS at first, making it the original mobile-first social network. It grew along with interest in smartphones, becoming one of those must have apps that could make or break a platform.

Social media is different in 2024. Video is king, and Twitter's status as a "digital town square," as Musk once called it, has been imperiled by rampant racism, transphobia, and saucy ads for OnlyFans. Threads may never reach the level of importance Twitter once had, but it does appear to provide the best imitation of what Twitter used to be. And you never know—if TikTok is banned in the US, Threads could reap the rewards.

On a related note, HotHardware is now active on Threads. If you aren't already, give us a follow!