Threads bets on interoperability ahead of EU launch today

14 Dec 2023

Image: © Rafael Henrique/

The platform is testing making its posts available on Mastodon, while a countdown timer on the Threads website suggests it will launch in the EU today.

Threads – Meta’s latest social media platform – is testing interoperability with other apps such as Mastodon.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement in a Threads post. The company is testing making posts from the platform available on Mastodon and “other services that use the ActivityPub protocol” – a decentralised social networking protocol.

“Making Threads interoperable will give people more choice over how they interact and it will help content reach more people,” Zuckerberg said. “I’m pretty optimistic about this.”

When Meta confirmed it was working on Threads at the start of the year – back when it was codenamed P92, the company said it would be a “standalone decentralised social network” for sharing text-based content.

But despite this being a goal from the beginning, little progress has been made on interoperability since Threads launched in July. The app had a surge in popularity at launch, reaching the 100m user milestone within five days.

But this surge was followed by a crash in activity and user retention. Analytics firms claimed Threads’ daily active users dropped by more than 80pc by 4 August – less than one month after the app launched.

Imminent EU launch

Meanwhile, it appears Meta is almost ready to launch Threads in the EU, which could give it a significant boost in users.

Meta withheld launching the app in the EU because of its strict regulations for online services, such as the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act.

But sources told the Wall Street Journal that Threads will launch in the EU under the condition that Meta will give EU users the choice of viewing content on the app without creating a profile.

The Threads website currently shows a countdown for people viewing it in a country where it is currently unavailable. This countdown suggests the app will launch later today (14 December), at approximately 11am Irish time.

The app may be able to use its EU launch to capitalise on the continuing fallout between Elon Musk and advertisers on X. Recently, the billionaire used expletives during an interview to refer to advertisers pulling ads from his app.

Musk recently unsuspended the X account of Alex Jones, a controversial conspiracy theorist, which may further impact the platform’s relations with advertisers.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic