Threads — Meta’s rival to X, formerly Twitter — has just launched in the European Union (EU), a market with nearly half a billion people.
The app launched in the U.S. to much fanfare in July, with Meta hoping to attract X users disillusioned with the turbulence on the platform since Elon Musk acquired it for $44 billion 14 months ago.
The app, which bears many similarities to X in both looks and usage, got off to a flying start five months ago, picking up more than 100 million users in the first week, though within a month, more than half of those had stopped checking in, according to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Since then, Meta has been building out Threads with new features in a bid to build up its community, and its arrival in Europe is sure to lift its numbers and give Threads a much-needed boost.
Announcing the EU launch, a Meta spokesperson said “significant improvements” had been made to the app since it first landed over the summer, including the addition of a web experience, a Following feed, an edit capability, search with keywords, tag topics, and more.
People can sign up for Threads using their Instagram profile for the full experience. Those who choose to use Threads without a profile can browse content, share content via link copying or platform sharing, search for accounts, and report Threads content but can’t interact with content.
It’s unclear why it’s taken Meta so long to launch Threads in the EU, though some reports have suggested it may be linked to stricter regulatory rules regarding data usage and market dominance by big firms. Allowing those in the EU to use Threads without a profile seems to be Meta’s way of satisfying EU regulators who have concerns about Threads’ close ties with Instagram.
It’ll be interesting to see if Meta reveals in the coming days the kind of interest that Threads has received among folks in the EU and how it affects its usage numbers globally. The buzz around Threads was short-lived, and Meta now seems to be playing the long game. One thing’s for sure — it still has X in its sights.
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