The competition between Threads and Twitter has escalated into what can only be described as a peculiar personal rivalry reminiscent of a showdown between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. But now, Twitter’s newly appointed CEO, Linda Yaccarino, has entered the fray.
Late on Monday, Yaccarino took to Twitter to declare, “Last week we had our largest usage day since February. There’s only ONE Twitter. You know it. I know it.” This intervention from Yaccarino is quite unusual, considering she just assumed the role of CEO last month with the primary objective of attracting advertisers back to the social media platform under Musk’s ownership. However, her efforts face the risk of being undermined by the remarkable success of Meta Platforms’ (ticker: META) latest microblogging app, Threads, which has already amassed over 100 million users in just five days.
One particular group that may find solace in Yaccarino’s statement is Tesla shareholders. When Yaccarino was appointed as Twitter CEO, there was optimism that she could help keep Musk focused on his responsibilities as the head of Tesla. Investors in the electric-vehicle company might now feel some relief if Yaccarino becomes more publicly involved in defending against the challenge posed by Threads, consequently minimizing potential distractions.
The Potential Impact of Threads on Twitter’s Traffic
Over the longer term, a successful Twitter fightback against Threads could reduce the chance Musk will resort again to selling Tesla stock to finance the social-media company. The stock sales weighed on Tesla investor sentiment for months.
Twitter’s response to the recently launched Threads app seems to be an effort to counter the claims that it is negatively impacting Twitter’s traffic. According to The Wall Street Journal, third-party estimates suggest a decline in Twitter traffic since the full availability of Threads, as evidenced by reduced website visits and lower web-domain ranking.
Although Yaccarino, the Twitter executive, did not provide specific details regarding Twitter’s measurement of usage, Musk commented on her tweet, mentioning that “cumulative user-seconds per day of phone screentime” is a crucial metric. He even expressed confidence that the platform could achieve an all-time record in this regard within the current week.
As of early Tuesday, Twitter has not yet responded to requests for comments on this matter.