Threads launched earlier this month, and was easily able to rack in over 100 million users in its first month. This however, does not include the dense EU market, as the app is blocked in the region due to concerns surrounding the app’s data collection practices.
The Digital Markets Act (DMA), which will come into effect in 2024, will impose stricter rules on how tech giants, like Meta collect and use user data. Under the DMA, tech giants will be required to obtain explicit consent from users before collecting sensitive data. They will also be prohibited from sharing user data across other platforms without user consent.
Given Meta’s privacy practices and the upcoming DMA, it is unlikely that Threads will be able to launch in the EU without making huge changes to the way it collects, and shares data.
Now, Meta has confirmed that, for the users in the EU, it is blocking accessing the app via VPN. It has said that while EU remains a ‘very important’ market, it is essential to comply with the regulations before launching the app officially.
Even if you live elsewhere, and have a Threads account, chances are that you won’t be able to access it if you travel to the EU. As of now, Meta hasn’t provided a set timeline for when the app will launch in the region, but it is making efforts for adjusting the app according to EU’s requirements.
In addition to the privacy concerns, there are also antitrust concerns for Threads. The DMA is designed to prevent tech giants from abusing their market power. One way that tech giants can abuse their market power is by using their data collection practices to give themselves an unfair advantage over smaller rivals.
If Threads were to launch in the EU, it is possible that Meta could use the app’s data collection practices to give itself an unfair advantage over smaller messaging apps. This is why the European Commission is likely to closely scrutinize Threads if Meta decides to launch the app in the EU.
If you're new to the app, here's everything you need to know about Threads
This is all we know for now, but rest assured that we will keep you updated as new information becomes available.