Meta’s ‘Threads’ may not be the Twitter killer some have suggested

Meta’s new social media platform ‘Threads’ has taken off like a rocket, exploding to more than 100-million users in just five days, but it may still not be enough to replace its rival, Twitter.

The new platform, launched last week by the company behind Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has already recorded record growth and has cemented itself as the first true potential threat to the Elon Musk-owned Twitter.

“The idea here is to take advantage of the fact that Elon Musk has made a lot of mistakes in the way he’s run [Twitter], so I think Meta is really looking to fill that gap,” said Anabel Quan-Haase, a professor in the faculty of information and media studies as well as the department of sociology at Western University.

That said, while Meta’s ultimate goal may be to replace Twitter, experts have raised doubts that goal is one that’s fully achievable.

“When you really look at the social media platforms, they’re each so different,” Quan-Haase said. “Twitter is kind of unique in terms of who is on the platform, what people like to do on it, who they follow, [and] what the topics are.”

“So I feel like Threads has a good niche, it can really fill something that is missing, but I’m not sure it can really replace something like Twitter.”

She went on to note, while Threads has seen exponential growth very quickly, much of that growth may be tied to users already on Instagram.

“And Instagram users are already Meta users so it’s not like Threads is gaining completely new users, it’s just that it’s really easy to move from Instagram and move your social circles over,” said Quan-Haase.

“My sense, just from the early analysis, is this is more of an Instagram crowd curious to add yet another platform for influence.”

She also pointed out, while Threads has launched in more than 100 countries including Canada, the U.S., Britain, Australia, and Japan, it has yet to hit the European market due to major concerns over data privacy and the consolidation of media ‘power’.

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