Threads becomes fastest-growing app ever, with 100 million users in under a week

The last record was held by ChatGPT, the wildly popular generative AI tool, and took the site two months to achieve.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Threads app on phone
Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Threads broke the record to become the fastest-growing app ever, gaining over 100 million users in less than a week. The Twitter rival dethrones ChatGPT, the previous record holder, which, though not exactly an app, earned 100 million users in just two months. Before that, TikTok held the record, reaching the mark in nine months. 

Also: I've used social networks since the 80s. Threads is the most annoying one I've tried

Threads, which launched on July 5 for iOS and Android, wields users' Instagram credentials to sign up, making it easier for the existing 1.6 billion users of the photo-sharing app to make the leap. It operates as a separate app from Instagram that users must download and then activate their Threads profile to use it. 

Thus far, it's the first Twitter alternative to really take off successfully -- at least so far.

Also: Changing this phone setting instantly made the Threads app better for me

"Several Twitter clones have emerged over the years, yet all have failed to achieve mainstream success," says Mark Weinstein, social media and privacy expert and MeWe founder. "By integrating with Instagram and its billions of existing users (far more than Twitter has), Threads may be the first Twitter clone with a real chance of unseating its segment stronghold, albeit while collecting mass data troves on its users, for sale to all targeting bidders."

Though available in 100 countries, Threads doesn't operate in the European Union, so the record-breaking user count doesn't include potential EU users. 

Also: Threads working on letting users delete accounts without wiping out Instagram

However, Meta plans to launch Threads in the EU in the future. It is unclear whether the current roadblock refers to the EU's antitrust laws in the works or the Threads app's privacy concerns. 

"Similar to Meta's other products like Facebook and Instagram, it appears that Threads will earn revenue via data harvesting and surveillance capitalism," Weinstein adds. "According to Apple's App Privacy Details, Threads will collect a plethora of user data, including locations, contacts, purchases, browsing history, search history, financial info, health & fitness, and more."

Instagram users that join Threads have an identifier to show for it on their profile, along with a counter for the user count. As the app continues to grow its user base, it's worth remembering that signed-up users don't equal active users.

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