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Meta's Social Media App Threads Finally Launches in the EU

Threads, the social media app from Meta, has made its debut in the European Union, arriving five months after its initial release in other global regions.


Positioned as a competitor to Elon Musk's X, formerly known as Twitter, Threads generated substantial buzz upon its global launch.


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However, its absence in the EU, known for stringent data and tech regulations, led to speculations.


Now, Meta aims to reignite interest in the platform, which initially garnered over 100 million users in its first week, albeit experiencing a subsequent decline.


Mark Zuckerberg, Meta's CEO, shared the news on Threads, extending a welcome to new users from across Europe.


A Meta spokesperson highlighted significant improvements made to the platform since its July launch in other countries.


The lack of key features like a website and search function contributed to the initial decline in user interest.


Starting today, EU residents can create a Threads profile connected to their Instagram account for a consistent experience globally.


Alternatively, users can utilize Threads without a profile.


Within three weeks of its initial launch, Threads witnessed a significant drop in users, prompting Meta to introduce new features to regain traction.


However, despite improvements, Threads still trails behind X and has fewer users compared to Meta's other services like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.


Meta has not officially disclosed the reason for delaying Threads' EU launch, but regulatory uncertainty, likely related to the EU's Digital Services Act, is suspected.


These regulations, active since August, impose new responsibilities on major tech companies, focusing on user protection, advertising to children, and algorithm transparency.


Threads requests access to various data on users' devices, including location data, purchases, and browsing history. Whether the app has undergone changes to comply with EU laws remains uncertain.


Meta's announcement in October about introducing subscription services in most of Europe, aimed at removing ads from its platforms, is seen as an attempt to address EU concerns.


This move followed Meta's €390 million (£335 million) fine in January for violating EU data rules related to ads. The subscription model is exclusive to individuals in the EU, European Economic Area, and Switzerland, excluding the UK.

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