Instagram Threads Hits 70 Million As Tech Stars Join Twitter Clone: Here’s Who To Follow


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Meta cofounder, chair and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg staged a stunning knockout of Twitter owner Elon Musk this week as he launched Threads, a Twitter-like app for Instagram users. In turn, Musk threatened to sue.

Perhaps this is the cage fight they’ve been hyping.

There’s been no stopping Threads since going viral as it launched on July 5. Trending on Twitter and topping the free app charts on the App Store and Google Play, Threads has emerged as the most serious threat to the embattled social media platform among recent clones.

Zuckerberg has been chronicling the app’s dramatic ascent on his Threads page reporting 2 million sign ups in its first two hours, 5 million in four hours, 10 million in seven hours, 30 million by next morning, and 70 million by July 7.

By comparison, it took ChatGPT two months to hit 100 million users, when it became the fastest growing app in Internet history. At the current rate, Threads might soon surpass that.

Of course, Instagram has had a head start with more than two billion monthly active users being able to log into Threads upon download, and with the immediate porting of followers feeding its growth, it’s been able to take off exponentially.

Before Musk acquired it, Twitter was about a tenth of Instagram’s size. And that was before legacy verifications were removed and limits were slapped on tweets. Today many of Twitter’s top accounts have larger followings on Instagram including Cristiano Ronaldo with 595 million Instagram followers, nearly six times greater than his 108.8 million followers on Twitter, and Taylor Swift with 267 million Instagram followers, nearly triple her 93.3 million followers on Twitter. Although neither have joined Threads yet, the Kardashians have wasted no time. Khloe has already racked up 2 million followers on Threads, Khourtney 1.6 million, and Kim, who hasn’t posted anything yet, 3.3 million. Mr. Beast is at 3.4 million after offering to give away a Tesla to one of his new followers. The popular YouTuber is so enamored with the platform that he is referring to himself as the Future Threads CEO.

Who To Follow

As expected, many tech influencers were early to join and have been active on the platform, including YouTuber Marques Brownlee who has 20 million followers across social media. I spoke with him and AT&T’s chief technology officer Jeremy Legg on stage at the Collision tech conference in Toronto last week where we discussed AI, AR, EV, 5G and the future of everything — and no one saw this coming.

He posted, “The #1 thing Twitter has over BlueSky and Mastodon and all the other competitors is always the PEOPLE. That’s what will make Meta launching new their Twitter competitor “Threads” so interesting. Porting everyone’s handles over from Instagram means there are PEOPLE right away 👀 Should be interesting.”

And the conversations have been great.

I commented that “Threads will soon surpass Twitter” and Mashable founder Pete Cashmore gave a thoughtful response, saying “Twitter has 368M users. Threads will probably hit that number in a week or so. But then they’ll have to retain all those users.”

If engagement does fall off, that’s likely it for Twitter clones for awhile as platform fatigue has definitely set it. But the nice thing about being early to a new social network is the sense of community. With the weekend upon us, venture capitalist Carter Reum lovingly posted a photo of his wife, Paris Hilton, sitting on the floor of an airport bookstore, flipping through AI and leadership books. Kindred Ventures founder Steve Jang posted a photo of a Buddha sculpture watching a retro TV.

If you’re seeking a guide on who to follow, here is a just a small sample of who is on. Feel free to add your favorites in the comments.

Aaron Levie, @levie, Box cofounder

Adam Mosseri, @mosseri, Head of Instagram

Alex Heath, @alexheath, The Verge editor

Alex Kantrowitz, @alexkantrowitz, Big Technology podcaster, CNBC contributor

Alexis Ohanian, @alexisohanian, Reddit cofounder, venture capitalist

Amanda Bradford, @amandabradford, The League cofounder

Andrew Huberman, @hubermanlab, Stanford Neuroscience Professor

Andrew Ross Sorkin, @sorkinsays, CNBC anchor, Billions co-creator

Arianna Huffington, @arianahuff, Huffington Post and Thrive Global founder

Baratunde Thurston, @baratunde, futurist comedian

Ben Parr, @benparr, OctaneAI cofounder

Bill Gurley, @bgurley, Benchmark general partner

Bozoma. Saint John, @badassboz, “Netflix/Uber/Apple Hall of Fame marketer”

Brian Solis, @briansolis, OG futurist

Carter Reum, @carterreum_official, M13 venture capitalist + @parishilton

Casey Newton, @crumbler, Platformer

Chris Messina, @chris, hashtag inventor

Dave Morin, @davemorin, Offline Ventures cofounder with @britmorin

Ezra Klein, @ezraklein, Vox cofounder

Gary Vaynerchuk, @garyvee, early investor in Facebook, Twitter, Venmo

Garry Tan, @garrytan, Y Combinator CEO

George Hotz, @georgehotz, founder, former Twitter intern

Guy Kawasaki, @guykawasaki, Canva evangelist, Remarkable People podcaster

iJustine, @ijustine, OG tech influencer

Jay Yarow, @jyarow, CNBC executive editor

Jeff Bezos, @jeffbezos, Amazon and Blue Origin founder

Jeff Jarvis, @jeffjarvis, This Week in Google podcaster

Joanna Stern, @joannastern, WSJ tech columnist, CNBC contributor

Jon Steinberg, @jonsteinberg, Cheddar founder

Josh Constine, @joshsc, SignalFire investor, CNN contributor

Joshua Kushner, @joshuakushner, Thrive Capital founder

Kara Swisher, @karaswisher, Code conference cofounder, Succession podcaster

Kevin Roose, @kevinroose, New York Times tech columnist

Kevin Systrom, @kevin, Instagram cofounder

Lauren Goode, @laurengoode, Wired tech reporter

Lauren Sanchez, @laurenwsanchez, Black Ops Aviation founder, Bezos Earth Fund

Lex Fridman, @lexfridman, Lex Firdman podcaster, MIT research scientist

Mark Cuban, @mcuban, Shark Tank investor, NBA Dallas Mavericks owner

Mark Gurman, @markgurman, Bloomberg Apple reporter

Mark Pincus, @markpinc, Zynga and Reinvent Capital cofounder

Mark Suster, @msuster, Upfront Ventures managing partner

Mark Zuckerberg, @zuck, Meta cofounder

Martine Paris, @martinepics, tech and trending reporter

Mike Isaac, @mike_isaac, New York Times tech reporter, “Superpumped” author

M.G. Siegler, @mgsiegler, Google Ventures general partner

Mr. Beast, @mrbeast, YouTuber and self-proclaimed future Threads CEO

Nick Bilton, @nickbilton, Vanity Fair correspondent

Nilay Patel, @reckless1280, The Verge editor-in-chief

Patrick Collison, @patrickcollison, Stripe cofounder and CEO

Paul Krugman, @paulkrugman7, New York Times columnist, Nobel economist

Pete Cashmore, @petecashmore, Mashable founder

Reid Hoffman, @reidhoffman, Inflection AI, LinkedIn and OpenAI cofounder

Richard Branson, @richardbranson, Virgin founder

Sal Rodriguez, @salrodriguez, WSJ tech reporter

Scott Budman, @scottbudman, NBC Bay Area tech reporter

Steve Jang, @stevejang, Kindred Ventures partner

Taylor Lorenz, @taylorlorenz, Washington Post columnist

Tobi Lutke, @tobi, Shopify cofounder

William Shatner, @williamshatner, OG Star Trek

Yann LeCun, @yannlecun, Meta Chief AI Scientist

Robert Scoble, @scobleizer, OG tech influencer

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Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

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