If you live in Europe, do not attempt to join up for Threads over a virtual private network (VPN). Meta has acknowledged that it is preventing European Union users from using a VPN to access the new social network.
According to consultant Matt Navarra, information, notifications, and profiles will not load properly. Some users claim they can use Threads without a VPN if they already signed up for one, but you shouldn’t bank on that working.
Meta claims in a statement that it is taking “further measures” to prevent users from accessing Threads in European countries where the app is unavailable.
Nonetheless, the company believes Europe is a “very important market” and that it expects to extend availability in the future. The company does not specify a timeframe for future rollouts, although the software is currently in beta and lacks critical functionality such as hashtags.
Threads is available in over 100 countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, but not in the European Union.
The Union regards Meta as a technological “gatekeeper” in the region, and the firm apparently wants to ensure Threads’ data-sharing strategy is compliant with the impending Digital Markets Act.
Threads is built on the infrastructure of Instagram and may import data from that site. The EU also ordered that Meta must obtain permission to serve tailored adverts, potentially complicating matters further.
Meta is under pressure to grow. Threads has amassed 100 million users in less than a week and is widely regarded as Twitter’s most serious competitor. CEO Mark Zuckerberg notes that the company’s growth has been largely “organic,” with no advertising or other traditional promotional efforts.
While it’s unknown whether usage will endure in the long run, an expansion to the EU might keep the trend going. According to outside researchers, Twitter traffic is already decreasing as a result of users experimenting with or migrating to Threads.