Illustration: The Verge
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On July 5th, Meta released Threads into the world. Its arrival came after months of anticipation, but ultimately a bit earlier than Meta had planned. Elon Musk’s characteristically self-defeating move to limit free users to viewing a small number of tweets each day had given Meta an unusually opportune moment to strike, and it seized the moment.
The outsized success that followed — Threads was the fastest app to hit 100 million downloads, and later blew past 150 million — came as a surprise to almost everyone involved. That includes the app’s makers at Meta, who hadn’t built a homegrown hit this big…