Threads hit 175 million monthly users in its first year, can Zuckerberg catch Musk? | Technology

Meta launched its text network, Threads, a year ago with the intention of competing with X, formerly Twitter. In these 12 months it has achieved 175 million monthly active users, As Mark Zuckerberg announced, CEO of Meta. The company has benefited from the promotion that Threads receives for being linked to Instagram and its hundreds of millions of users. And so it has become the biggest threat to the social network bought by Elon Musk in 2022. Threads did not arrive in Europe until December, almost six months after its launch, due to Meta’s caution on the European playing field.

The company has not disclosed how many daily users Threads has, as it does with its other networks, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. The reason may be that there are still many users who barely visit the app on a daily basis, beyond checking out the occasional message thanks to the Instagram tab where it displays updates. Threads reached 100 million registered users in just five days, faster than any other app. app in history. Zuckerberg’s announcement led to the promise of a cage fight with Musk that never materialized.

Despite being an X clone, Threads has always sought to distinguish itself as a less angry place, with less politics and current events. Threads’ algorithm is much more delicate when it comes to promoting polarizing or denigrating content and mostly promotes conversations and bland comments about current events: “Getting into politics could perhaps generate more interactions,” said Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram and Threads at Meta, in an interview for the first anniversary with the specialized portal Platformer. “But I think it’s a very delicate thing. Take a hot topic right now, like the war in Gaza. Do you really want to show people content with a very strong opinion, whether it’s pro-Israel or pro-Palestine, from an account that they didn’t choose to follow? It’s a pretty precarious situation and a presumptuous thing to do. Could you maybe generate more attention with that? Probably. Is it really worth it? Is it worth the anger that it could generate with the mistakes that you could make? It’s hard to say that it’s worth it,” he adds.

This explanation sums up the experience of using Threads compared to X, where controversy and anger are historical drivers of the network, even before Musk’s acquisition. The problem is that it is not a dynamic place, which sets trends or creates memes: it is impossible to imagine the explosion of the strawport in Threads instead of X, for example. Meta’s bet is that there is room on the Internet for a network with a different tone, where each user chooses with their use what type of topics interest them, nothing more. Zuckerberg said a year ago that Threads should aspire to be the next app with a billion of users.

Threads hinted that it was going to be integrated into the fediverse, where a protocol called ActivityPub allows messages to be broadcast on multiple networks at once. Mosseri now seems to back away from that intention: “The fediverse is a long-term bet. It’s very difficult to do the basics, particularly from a compliance and privacy standpoint,” Mosseri told Platformer.

X still has more total users, although Musk has not shared specific details since he bought the company. As of October 2022, the social network surpassed 500 million monthly active users, and around 215 million daily users. In his latest swerve in the management of the platform, Musk announced that he was going to remove the “retweet” and “like” counters below each message, that he was going to move the location of the view counter and the options to reply or “like”, which were going to be lateral movements like those that occur in Tinder and other social networks. appsThe new feature had sparked complaints among users, although its overall impact is less than it was a few months ago.

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