Tech giants such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, and TikTok are facing stricter online content regulations in the European Union due to their massive user base. The new regulations, known as the Digital Services Act (DSA), designate companies with more than 45 million users as very large online platforms (VLOPs) and require them to comply with risk management and external and independent auditing. They will also need to share data with authorities and researchers and abide by a code of conduct. The European Commission has given online platforms and search engines until February 17th to report their monthly active users. Those classified as VLOPs have four months to adhere to the rules or risk fines.
Twitter reported 100.9 million average monthly users in the EU, based on an estimation of the last 45 days. Google’s owner Alphabet provided two sets of numbers, one based on users’ accounts and the other based on signed-out recipients. Google Maps had 278.6 million average monthly signed-in users, Google Play had 274.6 million, Google Search had 332 million, Shopping had 74.9 million, and YouTube had 401.7 million. Apple stated that only its App Store, with more than 45 million monthly users, qualified as a very large online platform. However, it will also apply the same rules to the App Store for iPads, Mac computers, Apple Watch and TV, and to its Apple Books e-books and podcasts paid subscriptions.
Amazon reported more than 45 million users in the EU, while Microsoft said its Bing search engine had 107 million average monthly users in the last six months of 2022. Alibaba Group Holding’s e-commerce site AliExpress said its average monthly active users in the EU was above 45 million from August 1st of last year to January 31st of this year. TikTok has 100.9 million average monthly users in the EU based on an estimation of the last 45 days. Ebay reported that it was below the EU user threshold. Meta Platforms has said it had 255 million average monthly active users on Facebook in the EU and about 250 million average monthly active users on Instagram in the last six months of 2022. Companies will have to report user numbers every six months.
By Foo Yun Chee