The AtlanticThe Atlantic

FOMO has never been worse on the internet

By Caroline Mimbs Nyce

13 Jul 2023 · 4 min read

informed Summary

  1. The record-breaking speed at which Threads has reached 100 million active users can be attributed to a number of factors, including the fear of missing out on the next best thing, according to The Atlantic.

Earlier this year, ChatGPT became the fastest-growing consumer app of all time, reaching 100 million active users in what seemed like an astonishingly brisk two months. Now, just six months later, that record has been usurped: Threads got there in less than a week. According to data from Sensor Tower, a market-intelligence firm, Meta’s Twitter clone had the best launch day of any app in the past decade.

The internet is moving faster than ever before. Twitter and Facebook each took more than four years to reach the 100-million-users milestone; Instagram took just over two. TikTok did it in nine months. Now the record has been broken twice in 2023 alone. The apps themselves have evolved—product managers have spent zillions of hours optimizing sign-up “flows” to get people through registration and actually using the things as quickly as possible, and Threads, with its connection to Instagram, benefits from these efforts more than most. But it is also the case that the web is in a new FOMO era. The job of testing the next big thing was once assigned to just the very online; now we all feel like we’re primed to sign up right away or risk being left behind. We all have the fear of missing out.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content