Meta’s Threads takes on Twitter

Meta’s new social platform, Threads, is off to an impressive start, but can it continue its initial success against Twitter? Wharton’s Pinar Yildirim weighs in.

Awell-executed strategy helped launch Meta’s Threads into the stratosphere, surpassing 100 million users in its first week and making it the fastest-growing online platform in history.

But parent company Meta will need a solid long-term plan if it wants to monetize its newest social media site and permanently steal users away from Twitter, says Pinar Yildirim, a marketing and economics professor at Penn’s Wharton School.

Threads logo with the Twitter logo embedded inside.
Image: Pixabay

Yildirim, who studies social networks and their influence on society, says the time was right for Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to make a move because so much uncertainty has swirled around Twitter since its takeover by Elon Musk in October.

“I don’t think it was a big surprise that there would be more competition coming into this particular space,” Yildirim says. “Advertisers were uncertain and hesitating to advertise on Twitter, which leaves some money on the table. More importantly, users of Twitter were also looking for another platform to migrate to.”

Meta is capitalizing on its existing success with Instagram by making users log into Threads through their Instagram accounts. That’s a smart move, according to Yildirim, because it enables Meta to leverage all the data it has already captured from its Instagram audience, which tends to be younger and more engaged than the Facebook crowd.

“That’s a really advantageous point in terms of kickstarting the experience on another platform,” she says. “If you and I tomorrow decided that we wanted to go into business and become a competitor to Twitter, and we wanted to start from scratch without any existing user base, without any knowledge of these users in terms of data and the social network topography, we would have a very hard time reaching 100 million users in a number of days.”

Read more at Knowledge at Wharton.