Big names are ditching Twitter for Threads, Musk mad


Loudly and proudly – that’s how Sarah Jessica Parker, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other celebrities are leaving Twitter. They’re now posting on Threads, Mark Zuckerberg’s new platform.

The Threads app has already reached the important milestone of 100 million users on Monday and can now be called the fastest-growing social network ever. Now, highly influential personalities are joining the new platform too.

Among them are Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Lopez, Parker, and Ellen DeGeneres. Most of them, especially AOC, the US Congresswoman, have been consistently critical of how Elon Musk was managing Twitter.

Under his watch, content moderation efforts have become chaotic, and some are now calling Twitter a far-right forum. Advertisers remain spooked enough for the company’s revenue to keep dropping.

Smooth experience

No wonder Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Meta, decided to capitalize on the presumption that huge swathes of Twitter’s user base were feeling disenfranchised, and urge them to bravely jump ship.

As a platform, Threads is quite convenient, especially for more famous users who have millions of followers on Meta’s other apps, more specifically Instagram. That’s because users can port their Instagram followers to Threads.

For example, Gordon Ramsey and Shakira had 1 million and 3.4 million followers, respectively, within days of the platform’s launch. However, some are in no rush to delete their Twitter account altogether – AOC is now very active on Threads but her profile on Musk’s platform is still alive.

And yes, fake Threads websites have been multiplying, raising phishing fears. But the whole interface and smoothness does indeed impress many – take this observation on, yes, Twitter:

Again, Twitter itself is at fault. After the Musk takeover in October 2022, around 75% of the site’s employees were laid off, including most of the engineers responsible for providing a safe and glitchless user experience.

Twitter stats a concern

Musk, though, knows best what – and whom – to blame. First, an attorney for Twitter indicated it might sue Meta, parent company of Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Threads, for hiring former Twitter staff with alleged access to its trade secrets.

The billionaire has now suggested that he and Zuckerberg should have “a literal dick-measuring contest.” Musk also called the Meta boss a “cuck” which is a slang word for “cuckold,” a term of derision in rightwing circles.

Of course, sign-ups are not the best way to measure the success of a new social media network. Counting daily active users, as Twitter does, is much fairer.

But traffic on Twitter is definitely slowing down. Matthew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare, shared a screenshot to Twitter Sunday, showing that traffic on the platform was “tanking.”

According to Similarweb, a data company specializing in web analytics, in the first two full days that Threads was generally available, Thursday and Friday, web traffic to Twitter was down 5% compared with the same days of the previous week. As a year-over-year comparison, it was down 11% compared with July 6th and 7th, 2022.

In a bad sign for app user loyalty, Twitter user retention has also declined. On Android, the percentage of new users who are continuing to regularly use the Twitter app after 30 days has dropped from 19% in May 2022 to 16% in May 2023. In contrast, the loyalty of new Instagram users has held steady at about 40%.