Threads is a huge Growth Hack that works.
It kicks Twitter exactly where it hurts.
My feed is currently full of people saying that the 100mio users of threads are a vanity metric. That’s patently false and armchair generalism.
Remember when we say that you shouldn’t do growth hacks for Growth? Well, Threads just pulled the biggest Growth Hack of all of them to prove us wrong. In fact, if the growth hack is so big that you acquire 100mio Users through an existing distribution network in a WEEK then you achieved SOMETHING.
Let’s talk about the defensible moats that just got lasered away and why this is all indeed a great success (so far).
“This is not that impressive, it doesn’t mean anything to have 100mio users”
What? It's like saying after a race started that the guy who just started incredibly well who's ahead is not really ahead because the race is not over.
Let's put this into perspective. This user acquisition is more than impressive. It's not just impressive it's also insanely cheap considering everything. Even if they retain only a fraction of it almost every business on the planet can only dream of these numbers.
They are following the PLG playbook and have just blown step 1 completely to bits. Yes, they need to prove now whether they can retain a significant portion, time will tell. And yes, afterward they need to figure out some way of monetization.
Think about it, Threads is not a new startup, it’s an extension of an existing product portfolio of Instagram using the coating of Twitter which was shaking for some time now.
There are numerous interesting learnings already in this:
The winner who took it won’t keep it.
Twitter has an extremely dominant position in its category and its leadership acted like it can do anything.
The timing here was impeccable it was the correct moment to strike at Twitter when feed viewing was starting to get limited. People migrate because of things like that for sure. (In addition to all other deteriorating bad press) As Meta has proved a significant portion nevertheless.
They won’t stay for these reasons but they migrated for them.
Thinking in defensibility terms is just as interesting. Twitter was defending its users not over a rich feature set, in fact, Twitter is not a particularly feature-rich or polished product and hasn’t fundamentally changed all that much.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it also means that you won’t defend yourself over complicated tech.
So what did it defend with then?
Network effects and strong distribution power: People.