Meta Brings Threads to a Temporarily Halt in Turkey

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Key Takeaways

  • Meta is shutting down access to Threads in Turkey on April 29th.
  • The temporary closure is in response to an order barring data sharing with Instagram.
  • Meta hopes to bring Threads back as soon as possible.

Meta today announced a temporary shutdown of its Threads app in Turkey, effective April 29th.

This decision comes in response to an interim order issued by the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) concerning data-sharing practices. The shutdown is specifically targeted at Threads and will not affect other Meta services in Turkey, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. It’s also worth noting that Threads in other countries will continue to operate as usual.

This move is likely to cause some disruption for Turkish Threads users, a community that has embraced the Twitter-like platform. Meta acknowledges this and is taking steps to ease the transition. Users will be notified within the app and given the option to either deactivate or permanently delete their profiles.

Deactivation allows users to retain the possibility of regaining access to their posts and interactions if Threads returns to Turkey. Meta’s “Download Your Information” tool can be used at any time to download user data for those who choose to delete their profiles entirely.

At the heart of the issue lies the TCA’s interim order, which prohibits data sharing between Threads and Instagram. Meta strongly disagrees with this order, maintaining it adheres to all relevant Turkish laws. Nonetheless, the company is complying with the TCA to avoid further complications, hence the temporary shutdown.

“To comply with an interim order of the Rekabet Kurumu/Turkish Competition Authority (TCA), we will shut down Threads in Türkiye from Monday 29 April. We know this will be very disappointing for the many people in Türkiye who engage on Threads with their community,” Meta wrote in a blog post. 

Meta’s Recent Struggles

This isn’t the first time Meta has encountered regulatory hurdles in Turkey. In 2022, TechCrunch reported the company was fined a hefty $18.6 million for merging user data across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. This year, the TCA escalated the issue by threatening Meta with daily fines of $160,000 for non-compliance with the previous order.

Meanwhile, apart from the legal and financial hurdles that lie ahead, Meta may also have to worry about the impact this may have on Threads’ user base. Despite its promising start, Threads has been facing challenges in sustaining its growth.

The app currently boasts a user base of over 160 million. While large, it still represents only a fifth of the size of X’s base (415 million). The temporary suspension of Threads in Turkey could exacerbate its struggles with user growth and intensify its competition with X.

Nonetheless, Meta says it remains committed to working constructively with the TCA and expresses hope for a swift return of Threads to Turkish users.