Threads Picks Up Millions of Users Within Hours of Launch as Meta’s New Alternative to Twitter

In the latest blow dealt in a battle between social media giants, Meta Platforms officially launched its new Threads app on Wednesday, amassing millions of followers within just a few hours.

“Threads offers a new, separate space for real-time updates and public conversations,” read a Meta statement announcing the app’s release. “We are working toward making Threads compatible with the open, interoperable social networks that we believe can shape the future of the internet.”

Meta’s new app was launched amidst the latest in a series of ongoing controversies involving Twitter since it was acquired last October by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

Late last week, Musk’s company instituted changes that blocked unregistered users from being able to browse tweets, followed by temporary daily limits to the number of tweets people were allowed to read.

Musk initially cited “extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation” behind the decision to limit access for some accounts, although he later retweeted a parody account of himself which stated the reason for the viewing limit “is because we are all Twitter addicts and need to go outside.”

“I’m doing a good deed for the world here,” the post read. “Also, that’s another view you just used.”

Following the release of the Threads app on Wednesday, Musk—now Tweeting from his own account—wrote, “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram.”

“We’re only in the opening moments of the first round here,” said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post on his new platform Wednesday, responding to another user and referencing an ongoing exchange with Musk where the two moguls have joked about holding a cage fight.

Musk biographer Walter Isaacson has since clarified that the references to a physical battle between the tech giants had only been “a metaphor for [Musk’s] struggle with Meta and Zuckerberg.”

“I don’t know if that will really happen,” Isaacson said.

When asked if he thinks Threads may overtake Twitter, Zuckerberg, responding to a post on his new platform, seemed to express optimism.

“It’ll take some time, but I think there should be a public conversations app with 1 billion+ people on it,” Zuckerberg wrote.

“Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it.”

“Hopefully we will,” Zuckerberg added.

Micah Hanks is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of The Debrief. He can be reached by email at Follow his work at and on Twitter: @MicahHanks