High Thread Count


Twitter’s self-inflicted torments finally drew a mortally dangerous challenger on July 5th, when Meta (parent to Facebook and Instagram) launched Threads, a near-clone of Twitter. Unlike previous pipsqueak challengers (Mastodon, Bluesky, etc), Threads arrived with the ability to scale up to Twitter’s size by rolling its Instagram user base over into Threads.

In it’s first week, Threads attracted over 100 million users, making it the fasted-growing new app ever, by a lot. The old record was set by ChatGPT, which took two months to reach 100 million users after launch on November 39, 2022.  What’s even more startling is that so far Threads is only available via phone apps not web browsers, and, thanks to a Meta beef with the EU, it’s not available in Europe.

This shocking eruption indicates just how many Twitter users were eager to jump to a replacement if a viable one came along. It’s a measure of how detested Elon Musk has become—Twitter users will run TOWARD Mark Zuckerberg, who has been transmogrified from burning building to burning bush in record time.

To put this in perspective, Twitter has a nominal 450 million users worldwide, about 80 million in the US.  That makes Threads’ nearly instant 100 million mostly-US users a formidable number. Most are probably dual-use at this point, posting on both platforms while they try to gauge the wind direction. Many on Threads, however, are squealing in delight about the degree of engagement and the relatively lower troll rate so far.

Whether Threads becomes a civically and culturally important platform will depend on whether it successfully prevents the trolls from simply following the herd across from Twitter, and whether enough intellectually hefty Twitter users choose to make the trek. The boss of Threads and Instagram at Meta seems to want more of a suburban retail mall than a great city public square—he’s not interested in news or politics, and seems to swoon over brands and celebrities. Still, if enough newsy users show up, it will be a newsy place.

If the tens of millions of Twitter users who have opened Threads accounts decide they prefer Threads, Twitter could be quickly left to Elon’s invited nightmare denizens, and flop over dead. Until now, that has not seemed possible, but today you might want to be sure your black suit is back from the cleaners. You’ll want nice threads for the funeral.

Tom Corddry
Tom Corddry
Tom is a writer and aspiring flâneur who today provides creative services to mostly technology-centered clients. He led the Encarta team at Microsoft and, long ago, put KZAM radio on the air.


  1. What we know: Faceberg is a flatline-boring and a very dull guy. Ref. “Threads attracted over 100 million users,” clearly, avoiding ‘cognitive dissonance’ is an at-all-cost serious matter. Lastly, ‘Confirmation bias’ is a real phenomenon.

  2. Updates: 1) Threads reached 100 million in 5 days, not 7, and 2) Twitter’s estimated global membership sits at around 363 million, not 450 million as it once was.


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