On July 5, local time, Meta CEO Zuckerberg officially released Twitter-like social media platform Threads, dealing a blow to Twitter holder Musk.

With a deep bundle with Instagram, Threads gained over 50 million user registrations within 24 hours of its launch. This move is generally considered to be the second "battle" of the two people. Compared to the first round "mouth cannon", this time is real!

Daniel Ives, a well-known Wall Street technology analyst and managing director of Wedbush Securities, pointed out in an interview with NBD that We believe this ongoing beef between Zuckerberg and Musk is getting nastier with the Meta Threads launch. Zuckerberg sees blood in the water for Twitter and is now looking to gain market share out of the gates with the Threads launch. We see the Zuck vs. Musk beef as getting worse and now likely ending up in a cage match to settle the ongoing battle between the two tech leaders.  

For Threads, Meta's goal is to connect Threads to a "federated universe" that includes WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. With a huge user base, can Threads succeed in replacing Twitter as the new king of social media?

Rival brands take chance to make money as Twitter stumbles

After Musk's acquisition, Twitter has been plagued by stagnant user growth, loss of power users, and reduced advertising revenue.

During the time when Twitter users have been suffering from Musk for a long time, social platforms are springing up in hopes of winning a share of the market. Open source community Mastodon, Bluesky created by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, and Trump's own Social platform Truth Social all emerged as alternatives, and some Twitter users "fled" to various platforms. But due to the network effects and habits accumulated by Twitter over the years, There are also many users who still stick with Twitter.

Zuckerberg apparently sensed an opportunity, too. On July 5, Threads officially launched as a companion app to Instagram, the popular photo-sharing site Meta acquired more than a decade ago.

Instagram and Threads are already deeply tied, and users interested in signing up for Threads must first have an Instagram account. With Instagram's massive global user base of more than 2 billion monthly active users, Threads' growth is truly surprising.

In less than 2 hours after launch, threads had more than 1 million registrations; Within 12 hours, Threads had attracted more than 30 million registered users; Within 24 hours, it attracted more than 50 million users.

Image credit: Quiver Quantitative

By comparison, Twitter took two years to reach 1 million registrations that year.

Photo credit: Twitter

Daniel Ives told NBD that “It's been a Homerun success out of the gates with the buzz and initial user signups. This could not have gone better for Zuckerberg and Meta as so far it's been a fairy tale start to Threads. 100 million users is the key threshold that investors and industry watchers are focused on to gain scale. Engagement will be next for the user base and what share shifts we see for Twitter during this period.”

Reuters reported on the 7th that Twitter lawyer Alex Spiro threatened to Sue Meta over its Threads platform in a letter to Zuckerberg. In his letter, Spiro accused Meta of hiring former Twitter employees, saying those employees "had and continue to have access to Twitter's trade secrets and other highly confidential information." "Twitter intends to strictly enforce its intellectual property rights and requests that Meta take immediate steps to cease the use of any Twitter trade secrets or other highly confidential information," he wrote in the letter.

However, Meta spokesman Andy Stone said in response that there are no former Twitter employees on the Threads engineering team.

Backed by Meta 'Federated Universe,' Can Threads replace Twitter?

Meta is aiming to have the Thread app work in the so-called "fediverse," according to the New York Times. This might be especially appealing to creators or those with a large following who are hesitant to start over on a new platform.

Ives believes that While Meta will face clear challenges in gaining sustained adoption at scale this is a big problem for Twitter. The platform has seen multiple black eyes moments including this weekend's Twitter debacle and now faces a real competitor for the first time. This is a white-knuckle time if Threads keeps this momentum throughout the summer for Musk & Co.

Recent traffic on Twitter seems to be self-evident. According to the latest statistics from datareportal, Worldwide visits to Twitter.com dropped 7.3 percent year-over-year (YOY) in March 2023, the third straight month of declines. The outside world is not optimistic about the number of Twitter users in the future. InsiderIntelligence predicts a drop in worldwide Twitter users for the first time since it began tracking the social network in 2008, saying that after completing 2022 essentially flat, at 368.4 million monthly active users.

At the same time, some analysts believe that Twitter will not be replaced in the foreseeable future. Over the past few years, Twitter's market position has not been substantially challenged by apps from Instagram to Snap and TikTok. The analysis says that institutions and public figures with very large influence on Twitter take longer time to familiarize themselves with Threads. While Twitter, as a mature digital plaza, certainly has a head start.

Amid the hype surrounding Threads, experts also have some concerns - Threads' data policies are seen as more intrusive than Twitter's. Threads is currently available in more than 100 countries, not including the European Union. However, the EU is one of the company's largest markets. The Digital Markets Act, a new EU law due to come into force in the coming months, will restrict how big tech companies can share data across services.

"Meta's poor privacy record is bound to raise concerns. The fact that it has not launched within the EU shows that its data sharing policy does not meet the required standards." Says technology expert Mishi Choudhary.

Mishi Choudhary also believes that "Threads' success may not be compromised, they have a number of users, federated services, higher interoperability, and not dependent on one platform. But whether it will have the same social impact as Twitter remains to be seen."

Whether Threads can replace Twitter is still unknown. Based on the decline in Twitter traffic and the continuous departure of brands, foreign media Vox commented that "Twitter is not dead yet, but it is coming to this point."

Editor: Alexander