New Twitter Threat, Threads, Launches Today
It’s a timely release with Elon Musk recently announcing Twitter will now restrict the number of tweets users could read.
For those looking to join Threads, the app can already be downloaded on Apple’s App Store and Google Play though it is non-operational for now.
Already screenshots have emerged with Mark Zuckerberg and Adam Mosseri showing off the newest social platform in the Meta universe and additionally, Zuckerberg boasting million signups.
One corner of the world, however, will not have access to Threads due to privacy regulation concerns.
Meta’s answer to Twitter won’t be launching in the European Union (EU) anytime soon due to cases in Ireland and Germany where Meta was found to be unlawfully profiling users and processing Facebook users’ personal data such as current location, personal contacts, health and financial data, browsing history, search history and more.
It seems unlikely that Meta will be mending its ways anytime soon considering much of the social media giant’s revenue stream can be attributed to profiling users to foist behavioural advertising microtargeting tools on them.
Despite Meta announcing it will be switching the legal basis it states for microtargeting users in the region, the German case ruled that this is not sufficient and passed down the obligation to Meta to get consent to employ behaviour adverts.
Additionally, with the ushering in of the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act, the tech titan will also have to adhere to incoming EU regulations banning the use of sensitive data for ads starting as early next year.
Add to Meta’s mounting EU operating challenges, the A$1.9 billion privacy fine issued to Meta Platforms Ireland Limited (Meta IE) was fined for violating the GDPR’s constraints on data exports.
With Threads not launching in Europe, clearly, the new Twitter competitor will not be offering the required privacy the EU has mandated.
Meeting EU requirements would require a total overhaul of the Meta business and it appears that’s one undertaking the social media giant is not ready or willing to take.
The fact that Threads is registered under “Instagram Inc” under the developer and into the Instagram fold and not Meta’s can most likely be traced back to Meta’s current image in the media and the hope that the Instagram community can be leveraged.
A spokesperson for Ireland’s Data Protection Commission shared that they have in contact with Meta but that Threads wouldn’t launch “at this point”.
At this time, the only EU country to have access to the app with a launch scheduled for this Thursday is the United Kingdom where Brexit has excluded the country from EU restrictions and the risk to Meta is less.