Meta’s Twitter Alternative Threads Hits 5 Million Sign Ups in 4 Hours, Mark Zuckerberg Says

The app launched Wednesday amid continuing problems plaguing Twitter

Threads logo
Threads logo

In the first four hours after it launched late Wednesday afternoon, 5 million people signed up for Meta’s new Twitter competitor, Threads, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg announced the milestone Wednesday night in a post on, (obviously), Threads.

Threads is currently available on Apple and Google’s app stores in 100 countries, and several major brands like Netflix, NPR, HBO and Variety already have presences on the app, along with celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, Usher and Jennifer Lopez. The platform does not have a browser presence as of yet — the domain only offers a QR code for users to download the mobile app.

The new platform, described as “Instagram’s text-based conversation app,” is a direct rival to Twitter, which has had a rough July so far. On Saturday, owner Elon Musk announced that accounts would be limited in the number of tweets they could view per day, prompting yet another user exodus to various alternatives, like Mastodon, Hive Post, Spill, and former Twitter head Jack Dorsey’s Bluesky Social.

Perhaps because of this, Meta released Threads on Apple’s app store a day early. It was originally expected to launch on Thursday.

Musk said Twitter’s viewing limitations would be temporary, and bumped the limit from 600 to 1,000 tweets per day for unverified users, shortly after announcing them on Saturday. Even still, some users were quick to jump ship, with competitors like Bluesky announcing it saw “record-high traffic” on Saturday.

Musk has yet to tweet about the Meta competitor.

In June, Meta’s chief product officer Chris Cox told staffers that Threads would be for those seeking a platform that is “sanely run,” and obvious shot at Musk’s managing of Twitter since his purchase of the social media giant in October, 2022.

Meanwhile, the limitation placed on viewed tweets isn’t fully understood. The company’s formal explanation claims it’s a move to combat “bots and other bad actors,” though hard evidence of these problems has not been made public. A purported epidemic of bot accounts was the justification Musk used in his unsuccessful attempt to back out of buying Twitter.

But many have noted that under Musk Twitter stopped paying its Google Cloud bill — and the contract with Google Cloud expired June 30.

Studies have noted a significant rise in hate speech since Musk took over Twitter, as well as a significant drop in advertising revenue.