Meta Platforms Stirs the Pot as Twitter’s Stability Flickers


Both Twitter and Meta Platforms are drawing intense public and media scrutiny lately, with Twitter embroiled in high-profile management changes and Meta launching its own competitor in the social media space with the introduction of the Meta Threads application.

Launched on July 5, 2023, Instagram Threads took off like wildfire, amassing an unprecedented 100 million sign-ups from Instagram users in a mere five days. Observers are suggesting this surge is spelling trouble for Twitter, noting a distinct dip in the platform’s user engagement since Threads came onto the scene.

The Rising Star of Instagram Threads Shakes Twitter’s Foundations

A publicly shared chart from Cloudflare’s CEO, Matthew Prince, showcased Twitter’s declining web traffic, a trend that began nosediving at the start of July, reaching a six-month low. This aligns with expert reports of Twitter visits dropping by 5 percent following Threads’ launch and being down 11 percent year over year.

Meta representatives praise Threads as a thriving new gathering space for users, challenging Twitter’s own community infrastructure. The rapid adoption of Threads by Instagram’s user base reinforces this viewpoint.

“Crossing the 100 million mark in sign-ups in less than a week without any major promotional campaigns is incredible. Five days and going strong!”

– Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Meta Platforms

Threads made a splash as the quickest app to attract a user base, with 30 million downloads in 16 hours, outpacing even OpenAI’s ChatGPT’s record for reaching the same number. The skewed user demographics, however, suggest that most adopters were already within Instagram’s ecosystem.

This development has ignited a legal threat by Twitter’s outspoken CEO Elon Musk, who accuses Threads of pilfering confidential trade secrets. This isn’t helped by the ongoing and increasingly caustic rivalry between Musk and Zuckerberg.

Evaluating Threads: Is the Twitter Competitor a Privacy Menace?

Threads allows users to integrate their existing Instagram followers, but concerns regarding user privacy linger, notably due to past accusations against Zuckerberg for misusing personal data.

Despite its growth, Threads has not yet reached European users, constrained by data protection regulations. Threads’ capability to sustain its momentum and contend with Twitter’s reported 238 million daily active users, monetizable or not, remains to be seen.

What Kind of Data Is Collected by Instagram Threads?

According to its privacy policy, Threads accumulates data tied to individual users, including location, personal interests, browsing habits, and even sensitive personal information. This influx of data seemingly fuels targeted ad strategies. Despite the absence of current ads, the potential for monetization is there.

“Meta hasn’t broached the subject of income generation or ads on Threads, but given the company’s history, it’s something we should anticipate.”

Eliminating Threads from your social roster isn’t straightforward; doing so also means saying goodbye to your Instagram account, though deactivation is an option. This complexity plays into Meta’s ability to track cross-platform activity.

Amidst the underwhelming performance of the hyped Metaverse, which draws scant daily traffic despite its valuation, Zuckerberg may be leveraging Threads to recalibrate Meta’s focus towards encroaching on Twitter’s territory, catalyzed by Musk’s controversial Twitter management.

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