Attention Europe! Don’t use a VPN to sign up for Threads, the new social network by Meta. The company has confirmed that it’s blocking access for European Union users through VPNs. Unfortunately, this means that content, notifications, and profiles won’t load properly. While some users have managed to bypass this by previously signing up with a VPN, it’s not a reliable loophole.
In response, Meta has stated that they are implementing “further measures” to prevent access to Threads in European countries where it is unavailable. However, they still consider Europe to be a crucial market and hope to expand availability in the future, although no timeline has been provided. It’s worth noting that Threads is currently in its early stages and lacks important features like hashtags.
Threads is accessible in over 100 countries, including the US and UK, but not in the EU. This is due to the EU considering Meta as a technology “gatekeeper” and wanting to ensure that Threads complies with the upcoming Digital Markets Act. Since Threads is built on Instagram’s infrastructure, there may be data importing from that platform. Meta also needs permission to display personalized ads, which adds further complications.
Due to its rapid growth and potential threat to Twitter, there is immense pressure for Meta to expand. Threads has already amassed 100 million users in less than a week, with Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg highlighting that most of this growth has been “organic” without advertisement. While it’s uncertain how long this momentum will last, expanding to the EU could help sustain it. Analysts speculate that Twitter traffic is already declining as users experiment with or switch to Threads.