“Cumulative user-seconds per day of phone screentime, as reported by iOS & Android, is hardest to game. I think we may hit an all-time record this week,” Musk wrote Monday in response to a post by Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino saying the platform had its “largest usage day since February” last week.
But those claims don’t seem to pass the smell test.
Matthew Prince, the CEO and co-founder of Cloudfare, a web performance and security company, shared a chart showing a downward trend in the social media platform’s popularity, writing: “Twitter traffic tanking.”
Similarweb, a digital data company, said: “Traffic to Twitter’s website was down 5% compared with the same days of the previous week, and 11% compared to the same days last year,” suggesting this could also be related to the reported rapid rise of Meta’s new platform Threads.
Zuckerberg on Monday said Threads reached over 100 million sign-ups this past weekend.
“That’s mostly organic demand and we haven’t even turned on many promotions yet,” he added. “Can’t believe it’s only been 5 days!”
Threads users will reportedly soon be able to see sponsored content on the app as Instagram’s branded content tools will be made available to marketers on the new platform, according to Axios.
The 100 million sign-ups in less than a week would also mean that Threads is on track to outpace ChatGPT, which registered 100 million monthly active users two months after its launch, becoming the fastest-growing consumer application ever in January, a UBS report found.
Threads, which launched last week, seemed to benefit from the dissatisfaction of Twitter users with Musk’s chaotic policies, including most recently the “temporary limits” on the number of posts users could see. “Verified” accounts on the platform are allowed to read 8,000 posts per day, while unverified users are limited to 800 posts per day, and newly registered unverified accounts can access 400 posts per day.
Those limits came on top of other technical glitches the platform has had since the start of the year, including having the website crash at least four times in February and Musk’s decision to remove legacy blue check marks for most users and replace them with the Twitter Blue subscription product.
Threads also benefits from Instagram’s vast user base since Threads accounts are powered through the photo and video sharing app.
Musk appears to already be growing uneasy with Threads’ rapid ascent. X Corp., Twitter’s parent company, has threatened to sue Meta over Threads, claiming the tech giant “engaged in systematic, willful and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property” by poaching its employees.