Threads, Popular X Alternative Among Photographers, Launches in the EU


When Threads launched earlier this year, the app was available in the US and more than 100 other countries. But those in the European Union were left out of the fun. However, in a short and sweet post on Threads, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Meta’s social media platform is now available to EU users.

Along with the launch, Meta allows users in the EU to browse Threads without signing in to a profile, a departure from how users elsewhere, including those in the United States, can use the service. However, users who want to post or interact with content will need an Instagram account, as The Verge reports.

A screenshot of the Threads launch page for EU users.
Users in the EU will be able to browse Threads without logging in, though will need an Instagram account in order to post or interact with the app. Image Credit: Instagram

Meta’s Threads initially launched in July 2023. Meta designed the app as an alternative to X (formerly Twitter) and, therefore, geared it towards text. However, photographers quickly jumped on board. The frustrating “insta-crop” is not a factor on Threads, making it an ideal alternative for sharing photos.

Unfortunately, EU residents haven’t been able to take advantage of the new social media platform until now. In fact, after the launch, Meta had to block EU-based users from accessing the app via a VPN, according to TechCrunch. Many blame the delay of access on the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), which the bloc designed to curtail Big Tech’s alleged abuses and firm grip on the market. Indeed, companies such as Meta were listed as “gatekeepers” under the DMA and have until March 2024 to comply with the new requirements.

Other speculation posits that Threads’ close integration with Instagram (they do have the same parent company, after all) will cause issues with the EU regulators. When Threads launched, users signed up using existing Instagram accounts and could instantly connect with all of the Instagram accounts they already followed. This led to quick adoption but could go against the DMA’s rules against self-preferencing.

Since Threads launched, the connection between it and Instagram has loosened. In November, users were finally able to delete a Threads account without simultaneously deleting their Instagram account. However, users still need an Instagram account to post on Threads.

Despite the incredibly rapid growth (it was the fastest-growing app ever), Threads has struggled to retain users. The launch to the EU’s 448 million citizens will surely bring a new surge, though whether the app has done enough to keep people around remains to be seen.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.