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Meta's Threads platform finally launches in the EU

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Meta's new Threads app launches in the EU Credits: Meta

Meta's social media app Threads has finally launched in the European Union after a delay of five months since its release in other regions. The app, initially positioned as a competitor to Elon Musk's X (formerly Twitter), gained significant attention but was withheld in the EU due to the region's stringent data and big tech regulations. Mark Zuckerberg, Meta's CEO, announced the EU launch on Threads,"Today we’re opening Threads to more countries in Europe. Welcome everyone."

The app, which is centered on sharing text updates and joining public conversations, saw high initial interest with over 100 million users joining in its first week but experienced a subsequent decline. A Meta spokesperson mentioned "significant improvements" to the platform since its global launch in July, addressing some initial shortcomings like the lack of a website and search function.

Threads users in the EU can now create profiles connected to their Instagram accounts or use Threads without a profile. According to the BBC the delay in the EU launch was attributed to regulatory uncertainty, likely related to the EU's Digital Services Act, which imposes new responsibilities on tech companies to protect users and enhance transparency.

Threads, which asks for extensive data access permissions, may have undergone changes to comply with EU laws, and Meta's introduction of subscription services in October aims to address EU concerns about data privacy and ads. The subscription model excludes the UK and covers the EU, European Economic Area, and Switzerland.

Last January Meta was fined 390 million euros for breaking EU data rules around behavioural advertising.

Meta Platforms Inc