Instagram 'Threads' App Launch in EU Delayed Due to Regulatory Changes

  • 18-07-2023 |
  • Jackson Matthew

If you're a European Union resident eagerly awaiting the launch of Meta's Threads app, brace yourself for a longer wait. Instagram's head, Adam Mosseri, recently revealed that it could be many months before the new service is available in the EU territories as the company grapples with the EU Digital Markets Act (DMA), a legislative framework designed to safeguard user privacy.

The DMA poses a formidable challenge to global tech giants as it seeks to control their dominance in the digital market space. The legislation focuses on corporations with considerable influence over user access to apps and other digital processes. Google and Apple, which Meta alleges use their market dominance to favour their products, come particularly under scrutiny. Nevertheless, the DMA's reach extends to Meta as it rolls out its Instagram derivative, Threads.

Threads, therefore, must pass the stringent DMA measures before it debuts in Europe. This means that, in addition to ticking all the key boxes, the app must fulfil all other criteria set out in the updated regulations. This is an extensive process, which, according to Mosseri, will take "many months." He regrets the delay, citing his push for a less US-centric perspective within the team.

Interestingly, some EU users previously bypassed the restrictions by using Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to access Threads. However, Meta thwarted this workaround by blocking VPN users in the region. As a result, European users are now completely locked out of the app, relegating them to Twitter as an alternative – at least for the time being.

Despite the absence of EU users, Threads remains formidable in the digital space. It currently boasts 114 million members and continues to grow despite a reported decline in interaction following its much-anticipated launch. Mosseri maintains that the app still has a long way to go, but he is optimistic about its growth trajectory. Although he didn't provide specific details, he hinted that Threads' retention and engagement rates were better than anticipated. It seems, thus, that despite the current hurdles, there is a silver lining for Threads in the future.

Leave a comment