Meta’s Threads launches in the EU

Image Credits: Instagram

In a strategic move to broaden its user base and reinforce its competitive edge against X, Meta’s Threads launched in the European Union on Thursday. Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, shared the announcement on Threads, marking another milestone for the app.

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Threads initially debuted in July 2023, swiftly reaching users in the US and over 100 other countries, including the UK. However, its European launch faced delays attributed to stringent privacy laws in the region.

Before introducing Threads in the EU, Meta had to secure approval from the European Commission concerning the app’s privacy provisions. Speculation surrounded the delay, with many linking it to the EU Digital Markets Act, addressing significant tech antitrust and privacy concerns. While Meta didn’t explicitly cite the act as the cause, Instagram executive Adam Mosseri acknowledged the complexities of complying with upcoming laws.

Creating a Threads account requires an existing Instagram account, and initially, users were unable to delete their Threads account without also deleting their linked Instagram account. Meta addressed this in November. With the recent launch, Meta introduced the option for users to explore Threads without creating a dedicated profile, offering more flexibility to users.

Meta stated, “People who use Threads without a profile can browse content on Threads, search for accounts, share content via link copying or platform sharing, and report Threads content but can’t create a post or interact with content.”

Threads was the most downloaded app in Q3 2023, accumulating 236 million downloads across the app stores. Having accumulated over 100 million users in its first week, Threads experienced a subsequent decline in active users. Despite this, Zuckerberg remains optimistic, expressing confidence in reaching Threads’ ambitious goal of 1 billion users.

In contrast, X, facing challenges under Elon Musk’s leadership, witnessed reportedly a decline in revenue to $2.5 billion in 2023, alongside a decrease in daily active users. As part of its ongoing strategy, Meta announced increased interoperability with Threads, allowing posts to appear on other social platforms, aligning with the concept of the “fediverse.”

Zuckerberg remarked, “Making Threads interoperable will give people more choice over how they interact, and it will help content reach more people. I’m pretty optimistic about this.” The move signifies Meta’s continuous efforts to strengthen Threads’ position and explore new avenues for growth in the dynamic landscape of social media platforms.

Written by Sophie Blake


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