Meta blocks EU-based users from accessing Threads via VPN – After the launch of the Meta Threads app, multiple EU-based users have complained about not being able to access Instagram’s Threads app using VPN, Meta has come out to confirm that it is blocking such attempts and resisting such efforts.
Threads was released last week, but due to privacy concerns, it is not available in the EU. The company claimed in a statement that it had taken further steps to prevent users from accessing the new social app.
“Threads is not currently available in most countries in Europe and we’ve taken additional steps to prevent people based there from accessing it at this time. Europe continues to be an incredibly important market for Meta and we hope to make Threads available here in the future,” it said in a statement.
Earlier today, some EU-based users began tweeting screenshots claiming that they could not use the Threads app even after using VPN.
In the EU, this method poses legal and regulatory issues for Meta.
According to EU data protection law, Meta needs a legitimate legal basis to process such personal data legally for ad targeting – an area in which the firm is facing greater uncertainty as a result of a recent Court of Justice judgment.
Not only that, but The Digital Markets Act, the EU’s gleaming new ex-ante antitrust system, also limits how much gatekeeping behemoths can aggregate data for advertising. And Meta is said to be delaying Threads’ launch in the EU due to uncertainties about how the DMA will apply to its business’s use of data.
Despite not being formally launched in most of Europe, Meta’s Twitter rival has had a strong start, with the app surpassing 100 million signups in just a few days.
However, daily active users were down 20% this week compared to Saturday, according to analytics tracking firm Sensor Tower, and time spent on the app was also down. So it remains to be seen whether the Threads buzz will fade to a background hum as the novelty of a Meta Twitter fades.
Meta updated the Thread iOS app earlier this week, adding support for iOS 17 and reducing binary size, among other minor changes.
Engineer Cameron Roth responded to a remark regarding the absence of web or desktop support by saying it’s not as simple as “turning it on.”