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Meta won’t launch Twitter-like Threads app in European Union due to regulatory concerns

Meta has apparently skipped launching its highly anticipated Twitter-like app “Threads” in European Union countries as Mark Zuckerberg’s social media behemoth faces mounting regulatory pressure in the region, according to a report.

The “Threads” app did not appear in searches of app stores in Germany, Spain, Italy, and France as of Wednesday. Listings in Apple’s App Store in the US and the United Kingdom allow users to pre-download the app ahead of its expected debut Thursday.

The app’s absence in the EU reportedly stems from lingering uncertainty about the Digital Markets Act, which regulates how Big Tech firms share user data across multiple platforms.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is “waiting for more guidance” on how the rules will affect Threads, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

EU regulators have cracked down on Meta’s operations in the region over the last few years, including a record $1.3 billion fine in May for transferring the data of European users to servers in the US.

On Tuesday, a top EU court shot down Meta’s challenge of an order by Germany’s antitrust agency to stop collecting user data, Reuters reported.

Threads is set to debut on Thursday in the US.
Getty Images

Scrutiny over Meta’s practices has also intensified in the US, with the Wall Street Journal reporting last month that Instagram’s recommendation algorithms had facilitated the existence of a “vast pedophile network” on the platform.

A Meta representative told Bloomberg that the company plans to release “Threads” in more than 100 countries to start and would add more over time, but declined to comment on why European Union nations appeared to be left off the initial list.

Threads will compete with Twitter.
Getty Images

The Post has reached out to Meta for further comment.

Meta describes Threads as an online platform “where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow.” The app will be closely tied to Instagram, with users able to use the same username and maintain their existing followers.

Threads is closely linked to Meta-owned Instagram.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The text-based app is set to directly compete with Elon Musk’s Twitter, which has faced sharp criticism this week after the billionaire enacted limits on the number of tweets users could see per day.

One Meta executive described Threads as a “sanely run” alternative to Twitter – which exacerbated the animosity that led Musk to challenge Mark Zuckerberg to a cage match. Musk responded to Threads’ upcoming launch by mocking its user data privacy plan.

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