Big weekend for Threads: 98 million new users and a cease-and-desist

By the time Monday morning rolls around for the rest of the world, Threads will have more than 100 million new users. By any measure, that’s a fantastic opening weekend.

Threads was launched on Thursday morning, AEST, about a day ahead of schedule but timed to dovetail with a series of particularly alienating decisions surrounding Twitter. People were clearly ready to migrate, and they did so in droves. 

Pharrell Williams and Oprah Winfrey were on Threads within hours. Anthony Albanese has a nation to run, so waited until Friday to join, but has posted six times since. 

Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg posted on Threads within hours to boast of 30 million users.

“Feels like the beginning of something special, but we’ve got a lot of work ahead to build out the app,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Instagram has a pool of more than two billion active users, so whatever official figure you happen to read about Threads’ steady user count will already be outdated by the time you read it.

Elon Musk has, not surprisingly, threatened a lawsuit.

Twitter lawyer Alex Spiro sent a cease-and-desist to Meta CEO Zuckerberg, expressing “serious concerns” that Meta has “engaged in systematic, willful and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property” by hiring dozens of former Twitter employees.

According to the letter, “Meta deliberately assigned these employees to develop, in a matter of months, Meta’s copycat ‘Threads’ app with the specific intent that they use Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property in order to accelerate the development of Meta’s competing app, in violation of both state and federal laws as well as those employees’ ongoing obligations to Twitter.”

The letter continues: “Twitter intends to strictly enforce its intellectual property rights, and demands that Meta take immediate steps to stop using any Twitter trade secrets or other highly confidential information.”

Meta spokesperson Andy Stone commented (on Threads naturally): “No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee — that’s just not a thing.”

Elon Musk has since tweeted back: “Competition is fine, cheating is not.”

Twitter has fired roughly 6,500 employees since Musk took the reins in late October, so there is a high possibility that a number of these workers have since joined Meta.


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