Meta introduces Threads in the European Union
Meta's Threads an alternative to Elon Musk's X, has officially entered the European Union (EU) market, unlocking access for nearly half a billion potential users. This expansion was recently announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the Threads platform, signifying a pivotal move to tap into the diverse European audience.
Threads made its global debut in July, reaching 100 countries including notable territories like the United States, the United Kingdom and Ukraine. However, its introduction to the EU, comprising 27 nations with major markets such as Germany and France faced delays attributed to the region's stringent privacy regulations.
In response to regulatory concerns in Brussels, Meta has implemented specific adjustments for EU users. Notably, individuals within the EU can now browse Threads without creating a profile. However, to actively engage or post on the platform, users are still required to log in using their Instagram accounts, aligning with Meta's overarching user authentication framework.
Meta, the parent company of Threads, has been under scrutiny for its data handling practices, with Threads specifically flagged for privacy concerns in various studies. The app leverages user data from Instagram, including sensitive information like location and search history. Despite a remarkable initial surge, where Threads garnered 100 million users within just five days of its July 5th debut, user engagement experienced a subsequent downturn.
Within a month of its launch, Threads observed a notable 79% drop in daily active users, declining from a peak of 49.3 million on July 7th to 10.3 million on August.
However, as Threads continued to evolve introducing new features and users migrated from X (formerly Twitter), the app's engagement witnessed a resurgence, reaching 33 million daily active users in October.
The EU launch is anticipated to be a significant catalyst for Threads, potentially boosting it's user count especially at a time when X is grappling with challenges to retain both users and advertisers.
Despite clerification from Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri that Threads is not intended to replace Twitter, it has solidified its position as a compelling alternative. Meanwhile, tensions have escalated between Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter and rebranded it as X, and Meta.
Musk has raised concerns over what he perceives as the "systemic, willful, and unlawful misappropriation" of Twitter trade secrets and intellectual property by Meta, leading to the threat of legal action.
As Threads steps into the EU market, it stands at a pivotal juncture for increased user adoption and potentially reshaping the competitive landscape, while the legal and competitive challenges between Meta and X add an additional layer of intrigue to the unfolding narrative.