PYMNTS contacted Meta for comment but did not receive a reply.
The move marks Thread’s biggest expansion since it premiered in July as a micro-blogging alternative to X, formerly known as Twitter, per the WSJ report. However, Meta did not offer the service to users in the European Union due to the bloc’s strict regulations for online platforms.
Meta has battled EU authorities over data privacy concerns and was fined a record $1.3 billion in May for violating Europe’s data privacy law.
However, to comply with regulations, Meta will offer people the option to use Threads for consumption without setting up a profile that lets them post their own content, according to the report.
Social media companies are “under much more significant scrutiny than other parts of the world, so getting into that market shows that the company is willing to play the game,” Daniel Newman of The Futurum Group, an advisory business that focuses on digital technology, said in the report.
Last month, Meta announced that it planned to offer a new subscription option for Facebook and Instagram users in Europe, which gives them the choice to continue using the platforms for free with ads or to subscribe and stop seeing ads while making sure their information is not used for advertising purposes.
The company made the move in response to evolving European regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA).
Meta said at the time that it believes in and will continue to lobby for an ad-supported internet but still respects “the spirit and purpose of these evolving European regulations and [is] committed to complying with them.”