Two days after Meta (META)’s launch of Threads—its text-based social media platform competing with Twitter—many brands and some celebrities have populated the app, but it is still missing some of Twitter’s biggest users.
Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, released the app on June 5, a day earlier than expected. It has received 70 million sign-ups in its first two days, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post today (June 7). Users can access Threads using their Instagram credentials, and they have the option to follow the same accounts as they do on Instagram. The new app supports posts comprising of text, photos and videos. Users can like, comment and share, similar to how they interact with posts on Twitter.
Threads offers an alternative platform for disgruntled Twitter users who aren’t on board with the vision of its new owner, Elon Musk. The tech executive has introduced changes in recent months that didn’t sit well with every user, including charging $8 per month for the app’s verification checkmark. He is looking to make Twitter an “everything app” that could include a money transferring service, food ordering option and cab hailing feature. But Zuckerberg’s new app from Meta, which has a massive existing user base and relationship with customers, could threaten Musk’s business plan.
Who’s on Threads, and who isn’t?
Selena Gomez is the most-followed woman on Instagram, with 425 million fans, and she has created a Threads account. Katy Perry has one of the highest followings on Twitter, at 107 million, and she is trying the new app as well. So is Ellen Degeneres (75.4 million followers on Twitter), Kim Kardashian (75 million) and John Cena (14 million), who is famous for following his fans and other non-celebrity users on Twitter.
It’s no surprise that Elon Musk, the Twitter owner with 147 million followers, is sitting out the new app. Yesterday, Musk’s lawyer threatened to sue Zuckerberg for stealing Twitter’s trade secrets and intellectual property. In a tweet on the matter, Musk said, “Competition is fine, cheating is not.”
Musk isn’t the only high-profile Twitter user that isn’t on Threads. Many of Twitter’s most-followed accounts have not yet created profiles on the app, including former president Barack Obama (132 million), Justin Bieber (112 million), Cristiano Ronaldo (109 million) and Rihanna (108 million). Including Musk, these celebrities are the five most-followed accounts on Twitter. Other top Twitter celebrities that aren’t on Threads include Taylor Swift (93.3 million) and Lady Gaga (84.1 million). Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are two of the most followed accounts on Instagram, with 595 million followers and 477 million followers respectively, and neither have joined Threads.
Politicians and world leaders
Politicians use Twitter to campaign, comment on current events and share their plans for future legislation. Some U.S. Congress members have found their way onto Threads, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, and Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican and the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Many world leaders have not created accounts yet. Narenda Modi, the prime minister of India, is one of the most followed people on Twitter, with 90 million followers—more than Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga. But he has not yet joined Threads. The official @potus account representing President Joe Biden does not appear on the new app, and neither does Pope Francis. The pope posts almost daily on Twitter.
Native Twitter accounts
Some Twitter accounts have become staples of the app, like WeRateDogs (9.3 million), the profile that posts images of dogs with funny descriptions and scores. WeRateDogs created an account on Threads. Other users known for their unique Twitter presence—including tech reviewer iJustine (1.8 million), journalist Taylor Lorenz (349,000) and creator of @shitmydadsays Justin Halpern (2.1 million)—have joined Threads.
Jason Sweeney (920,000), another native Twitter user, doesn’t appear on Threads. Neither does Stephen King (7.1 million), the author who became known for his active presence on Twitter, often weighing in on Musk’s business decisions.
Brands swarmed Threads when it launched. McDonald’s has already set up more than two dozen accounts coordinating with the countries it operates in. Nike, Netflix and Peloton have joined as well. While Rihanna isn’t on Threads, her companies are, including Fenty Beauty, Savage X Fenty and Fenty Skin. Sports leagues like the NFL and WWE are also on the app.
Not every company jumped on the bandwagon. Zara and Chick-fil-A don’t appear on Threads, despite both having Instagram and Twitter accounts.
Many newsrooms have Twitter accounts to promote their articles. And many are early adopters of Threads as well. The Washington Post was within the first 260,000 users to create an account on Threads, according to its Instagram page, which displays the number. Within the first 24 hours, Threads received 30 million sign-ups, according to Zuckerberg. The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal were both within the first 1 million users. Local news outlets like the Miami Herald and Charlotte Observer joined the app as well.
Some of the biggest social media influencers have created profiles on Threads, like James Donaldson, also known as MrBeast, who has 38.5 million followers on Instagram. Creators who became famous on TikTok, including Charli D’Amelio (151 million followers, TikTok) and Addison Rae (88.5 million, TikTok), appear on Threads as well.
Emma Chamberlain, a creator who began her career on YouTube, is not on the new app yet.