Nowadays, everyone is moving. It’s not from a house in the suburbs or an overpriced apartment in San Francisco or Manhattan. It’s from Twitter to Threads. 

Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, this week launched Threads as a text-driven digital alternative to Twitter. 

“Let’s do this. Welcome to Threads,” Meta Chief Executive and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote in his first post on the platform.

Everyone who has an Instagram will automatically have a Threads account. That makes things easy. And it will run with no adverts — at least for now. 

The app went live Wednesday via Apple and Android app stores. It hit more than 100 countries. Its European launch stalled over data privacy concerns.

Zuckerberg said Threads racked up 10 million users in the first seven hours — fueled by the two billion existing Instagram accounts.

It now has 23 million — and growing. Many celebrities are already on it, including Colombian singer Shakira and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, according to Meta. 

Zuckerberg and Meta are capitalizing on the mess Musk has made of Twitter

Threads launch also comes on the heels of Elon limiting how many tweets a user can engage with at any time. 

So, instead of the promised cage fight between Zuckerberg and Musk, Meta has thrown down the gauntlet on their new social media platform and the markets. 

But, if he wants to win, Zuckerberg must bring the Latinos to Threads in full force. 

Online public conversation is critical to Latinos, and social media has become an essential communication tool.  

It is where news of our countries of origin is spread and discussed, connections with friends and family back home are maintained, and political and social movements germinate. 

According to Pew, some 39% of Latinos use Instagram. It’s the third most popular platform for us in social media. The most popular is Facebook, with 73% of Hispanics using the platform. 

In contrast, according to the Pew Research Center, at least 20% of people on Twitter are Latinos. Twenty-four percent of users identify as white; 26 percent as black, according to the study. 

Twitter currently has about 350 million monthly active users — a 3.93% decrease from last year and symptomatic of the Elon effect.

This number is expected to shrink to 335 million by 2024, a 5.14% fall compared to 2023.

To engage Latinos, Threads needs to speak and align with our values

This is something Twitter has not done well, as evidenced by the numbers. Yet, beyond the numbers and even after the New York Times called Threads Instagram’s “Killer Twitter,” the Meta digital infant can’t wriggle out of the copycat moniker.

In fact, according to an exclusive Axios-Ipsos Latino poll in collaboration with Noticias Telemundo, only 33% of Latinos have a favorable opinion of Elon Musk.

Considering that Latinos are among the fastest-growing consumers in the U.S. and are avid social media users, this could mean a significant shift in the audience for Twitter and, by extension, Threads.

Functionally, Threads will operate similarly to Twitter — you can write short posts, answer and run commentary. 

It offers users more space — 500 characters long (almost double of a tweet) and the ability to manage data across other app platforms. 

On Threads, retweets are now “reposts,” and tweets are “threads.” 

According to a Meta blog post, it will allow links, photos, and videos up to five minutes long. It will not allow direct messaging and, at the moment, seems apt only for mobile use. 

Besides that, it’s Twitter with a new name and without the Musk muddle. 

So, the jury is still out, but if Threads speaks our language and enlists Latinos, half of the battle will be won.