What you need to know
- Threads, Meta's response to X, has finally landed in the European Union after facing regulatory hurdles.
- Launched in July as an extended version of Instagram Notes, Threads pulled in 30 million users on its debut and has now surpassed 100 million users.
- Despite initially being blocked in Europe due to regulatory non-compliance, Threads has expanded its reach to over 100 countries, including the United States and United Kingdom.
After rolling out in the U.S. and UK in July, Threads is now spreading its wings across the European Union.
Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the news on Threads, with the social media platform's website now allowing you to access the service even without a profile, meaning no Instagram login is needed. You can browse posts, but sorry, no replying, liking, or reposting in this mode.
When you access Threads incognito-style, you'll be greeted with a single feed curated by algorithms. You can find specific accounts, but searching for posts is a no-go without a profile of your own.
During the platform's maiden launch, you needed an Instagram account to get in on the action. But that requirement didn't sit well with the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA).
As a result, Meta had to play by the EU's rulebook and limit access to Threads for the people in the region. Meta's spokesperson, Christine Pai, only cryptically described the delay as being due to "upcoming regulatory uncertainty"—probably a nod to the EU's DMA rules, as per The Verge.
Regardless, Threads gained almost 100 million monthly active users, even without a presence in Europe, according to Zuckerberg's statement during Meta's Q3 earnings call.
EU's law labeled Meta, along with Microsoft and Apple, as platform gatekeepers. This means they're obliged to uphold the new rules, especially when it comes to playing nice with user consent and keeping data protected.
Zuckerberg's announcement comes a few days after The Wall Street Journal spilled the beans about Meta's plan to launch Threads in the EU. Last week, Threads even slapped a countdown timer on its homepage with hints at an upcoming EU expansion sometime in December.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.