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    Published on July 6, 2023 last updated on July 7, 2023

    Threads, Meta's new app, is live... unless you're in the EU

    Earlier this week, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of Threads, a new social media app for sharing texts (up to 500 characters per post that can include links, photos, and videos) and joining public conversations, that many online say eerily resembles social media behemoth Twitter. 

    Users are invited to log in on the official website by using their Instagram account, but upon trying to download the app, consumers in the European Union (EU) will notice that they cannot do so as of now. Indeed, while Threads is available in over 100 countries for iOS and Android, the EU didn't make the cut for what many suspects are data privacy and compliance reasons:

    "Information provided about the app’s privacy via mandatory disclosures required on iOS shows the app may collect highly sensitive information about users in order to profile their digital activity — including health and financial data, precise location, browsing history, contacts, search history and other sensitive information."

    - Natasha Lomas, Senior Reporter for TechCrunch (source: Techcrunch)

    Considering Meta has been accumulating massive data privacy fines in Europe over the past few years, including a record-breaking 1.2 billion euros a couple of months ago, and a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) no later than last Monday in Germany declaring its approach to the GDPR illegal, the company might be weighing its options before taking any more regulatory risks in the EU.

    In a post on Threads, the Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri revealed that the new platform will eventually support ActivityPub, a protocol used to post on decentralized networks like Mastodon:

    “We’re committed to building support for ActivityPub, the protocol behind Mastodon, into this app. We weren’t able to finish it for launch given a number of complications that come along with a decentralized network, but it’s coming,” 

    - Adam Mosseri, Head of (source: TechCrunch)

    While the platform has already amassed an impressive 30M users since launch, there is no immediate timeline regarding an EU release, a situation that is reminiscent of Bard, Google's answer to ChatGPT that has yet to be released in the EU amid concerns over data privacy compliance.

    What do you make of this new platform? And what do you think about Europe being left out of these recent launches? Continue the conversation in the community on LinkedIn:

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