Meta’s Threads app will not launch in EU on regulatory concerns
App stores in European Union countries, including Ireland, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, and Belgium, were not listing Threads as of Wednesday morning
Meta’s Threads app — the social network rolling out this week to take on Twitter — will not be offered in the European Union as the company works out how data-sharing between the new platform and its Instagram app will be regulated.
Meta is waiting for more guidance around the Digital Markets Act, new EU competition rules that govern how large online platforms use their market power, a person familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified discussing the company’s thinking.
The European Commission is currently discussing the regulations with companies and is expected to give more guidance in September.
App stores in European Union countries, including Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Ireland and Belgium, were not listing Threads as of Wednesday morning. The new service is expected to go live on Thursday, according to listings in Apple’s App Store in the US and UK.
A spokesperson for Meta said while it was preparing to roll out Threads in more than 100 countries, with more coming soon, the company is not providing the entire list. A representative for the commission declined to comment on private business decisions.
A number of companies, including Meta, have self-designated themselves as “gatekeepers” under the DMA rules, which will potentially make them subject to stricter regulations around data sharing and giving preference to their own products.
Gatekeepers are banned from combining users’ personal data across different platforms under the DMA.
Threads is designed to let users follow the same accounts they have connected with on Instagram and keep their Instagram usernames, helping the social media giant leverage its billions of users to quickly gain scale.
The app will compete with Twitter, and will similarly be formatted around text-based posts that can be shared, liked and commented on.
“Meta have informed us that they have no plans to role out the service in the EU at present,” the Irish watchdog’s deputy commissioner Graham Doyle said by phone when contacted by Bloomberg.