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Why Threads is Not Available in Europe

Threads, the new messaging app from Instagram, is not yet available in Europe. “Threads is not available in Europe” has become a common frustration for many European Instagram users who were excited to try out the new messaging platform. In this article, we’ll explore why Threads is not available in Europe when it might launch there, and some alternative options European users have in the meantime.

Why Threads is Not Available in Europe

Threads is Not Available in Europe

Launched in October 2019, Threads is a standalone camera-first messaging app designed to be used with Instagram’s Close Friends list. It allows users to easily share content like photos, videos, messages, Stories, and more with their closest connections on Instagram.

Upon release, Threads App was made available immediately in the United States and Canada. However, the app has not yet launched in Europe, leaving many European Instagrammers confused and disappointed.

There are a few potential reasons why Threads is not available in Europe yet:

  • Instagram is testing and improving the app in smaller markets first
  • Stricter data protection laws in Europe require additional compliance work
  • Scaling an app globally takes time and resources, especially for new products

While Threads has not given an official Europe release timeline yet, it’s likely only a matter of time before the messaging app expands there. In the meantime, we’ll cover some alternative options for Europeans wanting to privately message their Instagram Close Friends.

Why Isn’t Threads Available in Europe Yet?

There are a few key reasons why Threads may not have arrived in Europe at the same time as its North American launch:

Testing in Smaller Markets First

Launching any new product is an iterative process of continuous testing and learning. As a brand-new app, it makes strategic sense for Instagram to test and refine Threads in smaller markets first before expanding globally.

The United States and Canada offer sizable English-speaking markets to gather initial user feedback. Meanwhile, Europe contains many smaller markets speaking different languages. Ensuring broad language support across Europe requires significantly more upfront investment.

By taking an incremental approach, Instagram can perfect Threads for a wide global audience while limiting risk. Once the app meets success metrics in early test markets like the US and Canada, Instagram can then focus resources on a thorough European launch.

Stricter Data Protection Laws

Europe maintains stricter data protection standards than other regions globally. Laws like GDPR govern how apps and services operating in Europe must handle personal user data responsibly and transparently.

Developing processes and controls to properly comply with European data regulations takes time, especially for newer apps still stabilizing their practices. Instagram is likely still working to ensure Threads meets Europe’s higher privacy requirements before launch.

Global Scaling Takes Time and Resources

Even when applications are technically ready for global launch, operational hurdles remain. Translating apps into different languages is an undertaking, as is staffing regional customer support teams to assist users worldwide.

As a newly launched app, Threads is likely still ramping up resources to provide the same level of support across different European languages and time zones. Instagram must also negotiate country-by-country operational legalities.

While fans eagerly await Threads in Europe, scaling any app globally requires patience. Instagram is likely moving as fast as reasonably possible to expand Threads’ availability abroad.

Why Threads is Not Available in Europe

When Will Threads Launch in Europe?

Unfortunately, Instagram has not given an official timeline for when Threads will launch in Europe. However, examining the app’s early growth in North America provides clues.

Steady Growth in Initial Launch Markets

In the US and Canada, Threads has maintained a relatively low-key yet steady launch. The app sits between 4.5 and 5 stars in both the Apple App Store and Google Play store. Reviews praise Threads’ convenience and creative features.

Meanwhile, Instagram continues iterating on the product itself. In December 2019, they launched the “Auto Status” feature allowing users to automatically share status updates based on phone activity.

This gradual growth strategy allows Instagram to scale North American operations smoothly before concerning itself with a European expansion.

EU Trademark Application

While concrete timelines are unavailable, there are promising signs Threads is at least considering a future European launch.

In November 2019, Facebook filed an EU trademark application for Threads. Registering the Threads name in Europe indicates potential business plans within the region.

However, trademark protection alone doesn’t necessarily mean a product launch is imminent. Trademarks simply limit other parties from using names that may be confused with registered brands. So Instagram may just be protecting its Threads branding ahead of an eventual expansion.

In any case, a European trademark filing at least demonstrates that Threads remains on Instagram’s radar for future global growth.

Alternatives for Europeans

Until Threads officially launches in Europe, interested Instagram users still have a couple of built-in options for messaging Close Friends:

Instagram Direct

Instagram DMs allow you to message any of your Instagram connections directly. While group chats are limited to a maximum of 15 people, you can use Direct to message back and forth with Close Friends in smaller numbers.

However, standard Instagram Direct misses some of the unique features Threads brings to Close Friends messaging. Threads open conversations directly to your camera, lets you share faster-disappearing statuses and more.

So while usable, Instagram Direct lacks the Close Friends-specific enhancements that set Threads apart. But it does work for casual convos in the meantime.

Instagram @besties

If you want to get creative, some Instagram users have found a workaround by creating a shared secondary “@besties” account. Here’s how it works:

First, set up a new Instagram account dedicated to your Close Friends group chat. Then, have each of your besties follow the account from their profiles.

Whenever someone in the group wants to share something, they DM it to the @besties account. The admin can then post the photo/message to your bestie’s feed for everyone to see.

It takes coordination to get everyone connected and on board. But this lets your Close Friends carry on somewhat similarly to Threads until its eventual release.


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about why Threads isn’t available in Europe yet:

Q1: Why can I not download Threads in Europe?

Threads has only been officially launched in the United States and Canada so far. The app has not yet expanded its availability to Europe or other global regions since its release in October 2019.

Q2: When will Threads be available in Europe?

Unfortunately, Instagram has not shared an official Europe release date for Threads yet. Based on trademark filings and steady growth so far though, the app may arrive at some point in 2020 or beyond.

Q3: Are Threads ever coming to Europe?

Given Instagram’s intentions to build Threads into a globally adoption messaging platform over time, it is very likely the app will launch across Europe eventually. Instagram is probably just taking an incremental region-by-region approach first before expanding to new continents.

Q4: What can I use instead of Threads in Europe for now?

Europeans waiting on Threads can use Instagram Direct messaging to chat one-on-one with Close Friends in the meantime. Or groups can coordinate shared @besties accounts to message as a Close Friends circle for now until Threads launches in more countries.

Q5: What countries can download Threads?

As of December 2019, Threads is only available for download directly in the United States and Canada. The app has not yet expanded to any European, Asian, South American, or other nations so far.


In closing, Threads’ lack of availability in Europe comes down to standard software scaling challenges. Before expanding globally, Instagram first wants to refine Threads for mass adoption in smaller English-language markets like the US and Canada.

Meeting stricter European data standards also requires additional compliance efforts Instagram seems to still be finalizing after Threads’ initial October 2019 launch. Rolling out regional support teams, language translations, legal paperwork and more takes resourcing and patience market-by-market.

But early growth signals suggest Threads remains on track as part of Instagram’s long-term product roadmap. EU trademark filings hint that Europe availability could follow at some point down the road as well.

Still as Europeans await Threads locally, alternatives like Instagram Direct and shared “@besties” accounts let Close Friends continue messaging more privately. So Instagram users across Europe need not miss out on too much fun for now while Instagram plots Threads’ future EU debut.

“Threads is not available in Europe” may frustrate Western European Instagrammers today. But if current early traction continues, Threads access could arrive for more global users in 2020 and beyond.

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