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Meta Platforms to Launch Threads in the European Union

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Meta Platforms’ CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, revealed plans to introduce the Threads social media platform to the European Union. This move comes after a regulatory delay that caused Meta to hold back from its global launch in July. With this debut, approximately 450 million individuals in the EU area will gain access to Meta’s new microblogging platform.

Zuckerberg shared the news in a post on Threads, stating, “Today we’re opening Threads to more countries in Europe. Welcome everyone 👋.” The decision to delay the EU launch was influenced by “upcoming regulatory uncertainty” surrounding the bloc’s Digital Markets Act, according to The Verge. The Guardian reported that clashes between Meta and EU regulators regarding Threads’ usage of personal data were responsible for the delays.

Effective November 2022, the EU’s Digital Markets Act aims to ensure fair competition among internet companies by preventing dominant firms from exploiting their positions. In light of this development, Meta’s launch in the EU coincides with its efforts to establish itself as a rival to X (formerly known as Twitter). Advertisers have increasingly turned away from Twitter following Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of the company.

Despite its ambitions, Meta’s free app, which integrates with users’ Instagram accounts, has struggled to match Twitter’s market share. According to data from Quiver Quantitative, Threads has only attracted 141 million users worldwide as of December, while Twitter boasts 540 million users.

Additionally, interest in Threads has waned since its initial launch, with users expressing dissatisfaction about spam posts on the app. Meta addressed these concerns in a statement announcing the EU launch, emphasizing that it has introduced significant improvements to the app, including allowing users to edit their posts.

Unlike other regions where opening an Instagram account is required to use Threads, EU users will have the option to utilize the platform without this additional step. This feature addresses the complaints from users who previously raised concerns about their inability to delete Threads accounts without simultaneously deleting their Instagram profiles.

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