According to statistics in 2022 January, 82,17% of Europeans are using Facebook and 3,57% are using Instagram, although this number is much smaller, it has still grown over the years. It is scary to think that all those businesses and personal brands, who use both channels in their everyday marketing actively, could face the situation where the two biggest social media platforms just disappear.
Will Instagram and Facebook really vanish from Europe?
In addition to the global system failures of Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp in 2021, which to put it mildly, affected a lot of people’s work and daily activities, we can now read from Meta’s (previously Facebook) annual report for the Securities and Exchange Commission that both, Instagram and Facebook could stop their services in Europe completely.
These threats have been thrown in the air because of European data regulations, which simply said, impede Meta to use Europeans’ data on American servers. We could think that it is fine, we don’t want our data to go from Europe to the States anyway, but it is not that easy, because as the company said itself, it is necessary for business activity and ad targeting. European laws on the other hand try to protect users’ data and privacy. Because European Union and the USA have not reached any agreements about sharing data, a threat about closing platforms in Europe was made.
However Meta clarifies that supposedly in 2022 they will reach new arrangements and to be honest, it seems logical, because considering how many businesses rely on Facebook and Instagram, when it comes to communicating with clients or selling products/services, it is highly unlikely that Europe needs to go on without them. Fortunately for every business owner and supporter of the apps, Meta continued the year on an optimistic note, saying that “leaving from Europe is not in any way in their future business plans and so far they’ve been following EU’s rules and they rely on an appropriate data safeguards”.
Although everyone could use some time off from social media every once in a while, we believe and hope that people and companies in Europe don’t have to manage without the main marketing channels in the future. EU won’t hopefully let this bureaucracy get this far because a lot of European businesses, who sell their products and services outside of the EU would take a massive hit. It would definitely affect trade business and entrepreneurship in the world too. It is probably just the case of nowadays modern “panic making” and just a topic, which is a good catch for media but will eventually resolve.
So to sum up, we’re probably going to be okay, but this is another great example of why it’s also important to have other marketing channels in place besides social media. You never own your social media channels, but your e-mail list is 100% yours and unless something scarier than GDPR pops up, you’ll keep owning it forever.