Meta had previously blocked EU users from accessing Threads via VPN workarounds. Now, the company is taking steps to launch the app legally in the European market. Meta is preparing to launch its text-based social app Threads in the EU as early as next month.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Meta may initially offer EU users a view-only mode for Threads to comply with regional data privacy regulations. This would allow users to browse posts without creating a profile.
However, users need to set up a profile to post content. It remains unclear how Meta would build personalized recommendation algorithms for a view-only experience without profiles.
Previously, user accounts on Threads were tied directly to Instagram accounts, meaning that if you deleted your Threads account, you had to delete your Instagram account as well. An update has changed that. It allows users to delete their Threads accounts without deleting their Instagram accounts.
On the other hand, Threads collects some user data through its connection to Instagram logins, according to the privacy information on the App Store. EU law requires explicit consent for personalized ads based on such data collection.
Meta recently started to offer a paid subscription option on Facebook and Instagram in the EU to remove ads and may implement a similar model for Threads. Then, the European Consumer Organization (BEUC), filed a complaint against Meta for engaging in “unfair commercial practices.”
The text-based app currently has fewer than 100 million monthly users worldwide. An EU launch could help Meta’s goal of reaching 1 billion Threads users in the coming years, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
“There are just under 100 million monthly actives at this point, and we’re now getting to the point where we’re going to be focusing on growing the community further,” Zuckerberg said during the earnings call. “I’ve thought for a long time that there should be a billion-person public conversations app that’s a bit more positive.”
Source: Wall Street Journal