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Meta's Twitter rival Threads will skip the EU as it goes live everywhere else

The issue appears to be how the app would share data between it and Instagram.

Published onJuly 5, 2023

Threads By Instagram
Adamya Sharma / Android Authority
  • Meta’s Threads app is scheduled to roll out on Thursday.
  • The app will be available in more than 100 countries.
  • Meta plans to skip launching the app in the EU due to regulatory concerns.

As an increasing number of users attempt to find a viable alternative to Twitter, Meta is striking while the iron is hot and launching its own Twitter competitor called Threads. Set to go live on Thursday, the app will roll out in a variety of countries, but will reportedly skip any in the EU.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Meta’s Thread app won’t launch in the EU due to regulatory concerns. It appears the sticking point has to do with how the app will share data between it and Instagram.

As it says on the app page, Threads is an Instagram app. It’s designed to allow users to keep their Instagram usernames and the accounts they follow. This will allow Threads to have something other Twitter rivals have lacked to date — an immediately large user base. But this brings up an issue with the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA).

The DMA sets competition rules that govern how large online platforms use their market power. Under those rules, “gatekeepers” are subject to stricter regulations when it comes to data sharing and giving preference to their own products. Meta, as well as numerous other companies, have self-designated themselves as gatekeepers. As a result, the Threads app currently does not meet up to the EU’s requirements.

A person close to the matter says Meta is waiting for more guidance around the DMA before launching in the EU, according to the publication. It appears the European Commission plans to do exactly that, but it won’t happen until September.

Right now, the Threads app is not appearing on the App Store in any EU country. A spokesperson for Ireland’s Data Protection Commission told Bloomberg, “Meta have informed us that they have no plans to role out the service in the EU at present.”

Threads will be going live in more than 100 countries, with more to come soon, as stated by a Meta spokesperson. However, Meta has not provided a list of all the countries Threads will be rolling out to.

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