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Is Threads available in the EU? No, here’s why

Sadly, the app is not available to EU users
Last Updated on July 7, 2023
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Wondering whether Threads is available in the EU? Sadly, it’s not right now. But we expect that to change in the coming weeks. Meta has released a brand new Twitter rival, Threads. It’s a social media platform designed to rival Twitter, similar to apps like Mastodon and BlueSky. Since its launch last Thursday, it has hit app stores across the US and UK – but not yet in the EU. Many are wondering why this is the case.

Is Meta Threads available in the EU?

No, Threads is not available in the EU. According to news outlets, this is because of the EU’s regulatory laws, which come into effect fully next year, although it is Meta that has not launched the app – it hasn’t been blocked. It’s available in more than 100 countries, including the US and the UK though. According to Instagram CEO and spokesperson Adam Mosseri, in an interview with The Verge, has faced some ‘complexities with complying with some of the laws coming into effect next year.”

Why is Threads not available in the EU?

Complexities complying with EU laws that are impacting Threads refer to data sharing and privacy concerns. The EU has a focus on data privacy, and large social media platforms from the likes of tech giants like Meta are under scrutiny in the EU. This uncertainty is why the Threads app is currently not available in the European Union.

Additionally, according to the regulations, part of the new Digital Markets Act, digital gatekeepers are prohibited from favoring their own services on their platforms. They are also required to ensure compatibility between instant messaging services and those offered by competitors. This is to encourage smaller social media apps to thrive and to stop the monopoly of large online platforms.

In a comment to The Hill, a Meta spokesperson stated that “the upcoming regulatory uncertainty has played into our decision not to launch right now.”

“Europe continues to be an incredibly important market for Meta and we hope to make new products available here in future,”

Why is Threads not available in Ireland?

Instagram Threads isn’t available in Ireland, because Ireland is part of the EU and its regulatory framework. The UK, that is: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, is no longer part of the EU, so citizens in those countries can sign up. But the Republic of Ireland is part of the EU and so that is why Threads is not accessible.

Ahead of the Wednesday 5th July launch of Threads, Ireland’s Independent news outlet noted as much, quoting a spokesperson for Ireland’s data protection commission (DPC) that Meta Thread would not be rolling out in the EU “at this point”. This follows Meta facing a ruling where it was fined €377m for running behavioral advertisements on both Facebook and Instagram that fell foul of GDPR guidance. It has also been prevented from launching ad services on Whatsapp

Gloria’s Thoughts

Sadly for all you EU-based friends, you won’t be able to access Threads just yet. However, once Meta has adapted and navigated some of the rules of the DMA, the platform should be available to the European public. We cannot say for sure when this will be.

As a tech and AI writer for PC Guide, Gloria is interested in what new technology means for the future of consumer electronics and digital and broadcast journalism.