Twitter’s future is in doubt as Threads tops 100 million users

Twitter has weathered months, if not years, of mismanagement as well as mass layoffs, frequent service disruptions and an exodus of top advertisers, but the launch of a rival app from Meta could prove to be the final straw.

Threads surpassed 100 million users this weekend, less than a week after it launched, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Monday, marking a staggering feat for any social network and one that puts it on pace to rapidly pass Twitter’s audience size.

Meanwhile, multiple internet traffic analysts reported noticeable declines in Twitter usage in just the past few days. The results underscore the risk Meta poses to Twitter’s business and raise questions about how, or if, Twitter can stem its losses.

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Elon Musk is the gift that keeps on giving to Mark Zuckerberg

At the start of last year, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in the hot seat.

Revelations from hundreds of internal company documents, known as the Facebook Papers, had drawn sharp criticism from lawmakers, users and civil society groups in late 2021 and forced company executives to appear before Congress. Zuckerberg’s plan to rebrand Facebook as Meta and pivot to the so-called metaverse was met with broadskepticism. And the company’s core ad business was under significant pressure from privacy changes made by Apple.

But then, the attention of lawmakers, media and the tech world writ large abruptly shifted to another tech billionaire: Elon Musk.

Meta cut election teams months before Threads launch, raising concerns for 2024

Meta has made cuts to its teams that tackle disinformation and coordinated troll and harassment campaigns on its platforms, people with direct knowledge of the situation told CNN, raising concerns ahead of the pivotal 2024 elections in the US and around the world.

Several members of the team that countered mis- and disinformation in the 2022 US midterms were laid off last fall and this spring, a person familiar with the matter said. The staffers are part of a global team that works on Meta’s efforts to counter disinformation campaigns seeking to undermine confidence in or sow confusion around elections.

The news comes as Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is celebrating the unparalleled success of its new Threads platform, surpassing 100 million users just five days after launch and opening a potential new avenue for bad actors.

Meta’s Twitter rival Threads surges to 100 million users faster than ChatGPT
Meta Platforms’ Twitter rival Threads crossed 100 million sign-ups within five days of launch, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Monday, dethroning ChatGPT as the fastest-growing online platform to hit the milestone.

Meta’s Threads tops 100 million users in just 5 days, Zuckerberg says
Meta’s new text-based social network Threads has eclipsed 100 million users in its first five days.

The app is now among the most used social media platforms in the United States, rivaling even TikTok, which had 102.3 million active U.S. users in May, according to data from Insider Intelligence.

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