Threads which has been billed as a rival to Elon Musk’s Twitter went live in the UK at midnight on Thursday and saw more than 10 million people sign up within hours.
Threads is owned by Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg and the app is linked to Instagram which allows users to post up to 500 characters of text, pictures, video as well as links.
Posting on the app under the username zuck and using a mind blown emoji, Mr Zuckerberg said: “10 million sign up in seven hours.”
He said earlier: “I think there should be a public conversations app with 1 billion+ people on it. Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it. Hopefully we will.”
Musk tweeted about Meta, saying: “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram.”
Daniel Smith, director at London-based marketing agency, Doogheno: “After agreeing to a cage fight with Musk, Zuckerberg has come out fighting with his Twitter clone, Threads, and has landed the first punch. His timing couldn’t be better.
“The Twitter community has grown tired of Musk’s antics very quickly, and for many last weekend, the rate limiting of Tweets that can be viewed might just be the final straw.
“Alternative platforms like Mastodon are too complicated for many people to switch, but Threads is simple to use. And with Instagram having 2 billion accounts, four times the size of Twitter’s user base, it’s very possible that Twitter’s days may be coming to an end.
“If Musk continues to play to the far right, hiding behind his flag of free speech, then now the grown-ups have somewhere else to play. Zuckerberg has a history of taking new services to the mass market quickly and making a success of them. It’s too early to know if this punch is a knockout, but it will have definitely bloodied Musk’s nose.”
Jessica Ross, CEO at Smashtag Social: “Threads may be the shiny new toy that everyone wants to play with, but don’t overlook the details.
“If you ever want to delete your Threads account then you have to delete your Instagram account, too. What Meta have done is outlandishly incredible really. They’ve created a platform that hoovers up your data, while making you a hostage who’s unable to do anything about it.”
Debbie Porter, managing director of Bakewell-based Destination Digital Marketing: “Mark Zuckerberg really doesn’t like Elon Musk, does he?
“10 million users in under seven hours is one hell of a launch. In the start-up screen is a mention of the Fediverse, with the promise that the platform’s future iterations will be able to communicate with other social networks. Threads is inviting everyone to party in one big space, agnostic of whether the person they are communicating with is signed up and active on Instagram, Mastodon, Snapchat or, who knows, even Twitter too? Let’s see if it flies. It certainly looks that way so far.”
Neil Shearer of Manchester-based Neil Shearer Photography: “I’m liking it so far. It’s a great opportunity to add features people have been wanting on Twitter for years.
“Yep it’s a bit clunky still, but it’s literally Day 1 so cut the Zuck some slack. It’s crashing when I’m trying to post, and there’s no easy way to juggle multiple accounts, but overall it feels ‘nicer’ than my first day on Twitter. It immediately feels more welcoming.”
Tasnime Rotherham, founder of Peterborough-based independent tea retailer, Very Craftea: “So I have just signed up and I’m not really sure why! Is it because I missed the boat on all the other social media platforms when they started out? Probably. Is it the same as Twitter?
“From my limited use on Twitter, 100% yes looks and feels exactly the same. Will I use it more than my dormant Twitter account? Yes, definitely. Well, at least for the first week or so. I guess the one thing that’s different, because you can connect with your existing followers, it’s not as scary, and an into-the-unknown leap. I already had 40 people who wanted to follow me as soon as I joined. So that’s a nice feeling of popularity. Who knows what it’ll look like in a week though?”