After receiving several complaints from users in the EU who were unable to utilize a VPN to access Instagram’s Threads app, Meta said that it is now preventing such attempts.
Threads was recently released by the corporation, however due to privacy issues, it is not accessible in the EU.
The business announced in a statement that it has taken further steps to prevent customers from accessing the brand-new social app.
“Threads is now unavailable in the majority of European nations, and we have taken additional precautions to block access to threads by residents of those nations.
In a statement given to social media expert Matt Navarra, Meta stated that Europe “continues to be a very significant market for Meta and we expect to be able to bring Threads to additional countries in the future.
A few EU-based users began tweeting screenshots earlier today claiming they couldn’t use the Threads app even after using a VPN.
Okay, it appears that Meta really did chosen to block Europe in Threads because it is accessible from everyone else but not from Europe (even with a VPN). pic.twitter.com/Al64RL674G
July 14, 2023 — Yury Molodtsov (@y_molodtsov)
According to Meta’s privacy statement and the app’s iOS listing, which disclose that the program may gather a variety of personal data, including highly sensitive information like health and financial data, precise location, browser history, contacts, and search history, the Threads app actively monitors users.
In the EU, this strategy poses legal and regulatory difficulties for Meta.
Meta must have a legitimate legal basis to process such personal data for ad targeting in accordance with EU data protection rules; as a result of a recent Court of Justice decision, the company’s position in this regard is becoming more dubious.
But it doesn’t stop there: The Digital Markets Act, the EU’s gleaming new ex-ante antitrust law, imposes restrictions on how applicable gatekeeping giants can mix data for advertisements.
Additionally, Meta has reportedly stated that the delay in Threads’ launch in the EU is due to ambiguity regarding how the DMA will apply to the use of data by its firm.
Even though it hasn’t been formally launched in the majority of Europe, Meta’s Twitter rival is off to a strong start as the app has already attracted more than 100 million sign-ups in only a few days.
However, daily active users were down 20% this week compared to Saturday, and time spent on the app has also decreased, according to analytics tracking company Sensor Tower.
Therefore, it’s unclear whether the Threads excitement will diminish once the novelty of a Meta Twitter version wears off.
This week, Meta released an update for the Thread iOS app that added support for iOS 17 and smaller binary sizes, among other minor changes.
Engineer Cameron Roth responded to a comment regarding the absence of online or desktop support by saying it’s not as easy as “turning it on.”