In a remarkable turn of events, the recently launched Threads app by Instagram has taken the digital world by storm, amassing over 100 million users in less than five days, according to data tracking websites. This unprecedented achievement has shattered the record previously held by the AI tool ChatGPT, establishing Threads as the fastest-growing consumer app in history. For perspective, ChatGPT took two months to reach the same milestone, while popular video-sharing platform TikTok required nine months. Even Instagram itself, after its launch in 2010, took two and a half years to achieve this level of user engagement.

Threads made its highly anticipated debut on both Apple and Android app stores across 100 countries on a Wednesday evening, captivating users with its unique features. However, its absence in Europe stems from Meta, the parent company of Instagram, navigating the complexities of the European Union’s data privacy legislation.

While Twitter boasts approximately 200 million regular users, its reputation has suffered a series of setbacks since being acquired by Elon Musk last year. Technical failures have plagued the platform, and thousands of employees were let go under Musk’s leadership. Moreover, Musk’s controversial decisions, such as introducing charges for previously free services and allowing the return of banned right-wing accounts, have alienated many users.

While numerous contenders have emerged to challenge Twitter’s dominance, most are niche platforms without the necessary scalability to overthrow the microblogging giant. Threads, however, holds a distinct advantage due to its association with Instagram, which boasts a staggering one billion regular users. This integration has proven to be a catalyst for Threads’ rapid ascent, as it leverages the existing user base and popularity of Instagram.

Online data service Quiver Quantitative reported that the Threads app surpassed the 100 million user mark at 07:00 GMT on Monday. Other websites, employing a count based on the “badges” received by Instagram users who have downloaded Threads, estimated that the milestone was reached even earlier.

Amidst this intense competition and rapid growth, tensions have escalated between Elon Musk and Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Musk has threatened legal action against Meta, accusing the company of stealing trade secrets and intellectual property—an allegation firmly denied by Meta, which also owns Facebook and WhatsApp. The rivalry between Musk and Zuckerberg has even taken an unconventional turn, with both individuals challenging each other to a cage fight in a recent exchange.

As Threads continues to reshape the social media landscape with its meteoric rise, it poses a formidable challenge to Twitter’s established dominance. With its strong ties to Instagram and the unrivaled user base of its parent company, Meta, Threads has demonstrated its ability to captivate and engage users on an unprecedented scale. The coming months will undoubtedly shed light on whether Threads can sustain its momentum and potentially reshape the future of social media as we know it.