Over 10 million people signed up in the first seven hours.
The word "Threads" over a swirly colorful background.

Within its first seven hours of release, Meta's rival to Twitter, Threads, amassed over 10 million signups. This is according to a Thread shared by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. This morning, Zuckerberg posted another Thread saying that Threads has surpassed 30 million signups.

Threads is now available globally except for the EU, where the app is apparently not yet compliant with the upcoming Digital Markets Act (DMA). Threads is built on Instagram's infrastructure and can import data from Instagram, including advertising and behavior information. Meta seems to want to take extra time to ensure Threads is compliant in the EU given how failure to comply with the region's strict privacy laws can result in steep fines or a ban on the app.

When Threads first launch last night, Zuckerberg took to Twitter for the first time in over ten years to post a simple meme image.

With just one image, Zuckerberg both showed how he relates to his fellow humans while simultaneously dunking on Twitter CEO Elon Musk. Musk being famous for often posting tired, old meme images that are neither funny nor actually make sense to anybody but himself.

Threads' immediate surge in popularity can be attributed to a number of factors. First off, there has been an ever growing resentment to Twitter over the past several months. The decisions and changes implemented by Elon Musk has driven away countless Twitter users and advertisers. Second, the other promising Twitter alternative, Bluesky, continues to be invite-only while development continues. Worse still is the fact that Bluesky invites show up at a rate of about one per user every two weeks.

Threads can also attribute a great deal of its immediate growth due to the fact that it was exceptionally easy to get up and running if you already had an Instagram account, which millions of people already do. As part of the onboarding process to Threads, you were able to use the same username and bio as Instagram. It also allowed users to follow all of the people they were already following on Instagram with a single button press.

Despite this sudden growth in popularity, Threads is not without its issues. The biggest complaint is the fact that there is zero way for you to browse a chronological, following-only feed. Users are stuck with a feed powered by an algorithm that decides what you should be looking at. There were a couple of times last night where I refreshed my feed in Threads only to see no fewer than 15 posts in a row by people and brands that I did not know nor followed before finally seeing a post from someone I was following.

Luckily, the higher-ups at Meta working on Threads said that some features are still coming. This includes, but is not limited to, features like that aforementioned chronological, following-only feed, the ability to edit posts, the ability to switch accounts, and working hashtags.

One thing not addressed yet is whether or not there will be a web version of Threads. As it stands, Threads is only usable through iOS and Android devices. You can view content posted to Threads if you have a direct link to it, but you can't do much else in a browser. It took several years after its mobile release before users could view and post content to Instagram from a browser.

If Threads is able to iron out these teething issues quickly, it could be quite the viable competitor to Twitter. Threads will also soon be compatible with ActivityPub. This is the source protocol that powers decentralized services such as Mastodon. You may better recognize the collection of decentralized services under the name of "Fediverse." Once Threads gets ActivityPub support, users on Threads and other Fediverse services, like Mastodon, will be able to follow and interact with each other.