Spread the love

TikTok, Windows, etc.: 4 features that are only available in Europe

© Christian Lue

The EU is imposing major changes in tech. While this has already singled out the giants of the sector on numerous occasions, it now imposes new rules with new legislation such as the DMA (Digital Markets Act), the DSA (Digital Services Act), or even the obligation to 'use the USB-C port for charging smartphones.

And if certain changes, such as the USB-C port of the iPhone 15, or the interoperability of iMessage with Android smartphones, s apply globally, others will be reserved for users residing in the European Economic Area. Below, we take a quick overview of these features that tech players have announced, only for Europe, in order to comply with the new rules.

1 – TikTok algorithm is no longer mandatory

One of the keys to TikTok’s global success is its recommendation algorithm. This uses the user's data to identify videos likely to interest them (independently of the accounts followed). But to comply with the Digital Services Act, the Bytedance social network is making an important change for the “For You” feed. In essence, European users will have the choice between an ultra-personalized video feed based on personal data, or a non-personalized feed based solely on popular content.

Besides that, always for comply with the DSA, TikTok has already announced easier reporting of content, better transparency for its moderation, and changes to advertising displays.

2 – You will be able to uninstall Bing and Edge on Windows

Microsoft is regularly accused of forcing, by promoting its products, such as the Bing search engine, or the Edge browser. But thanks to the Digital Markets Act, users in the European Economic Area will be able to uninstall these applications from Windows.

This November, Microsoft launched preview testing of a version of Windows which will uninstall these applications. And normally, this new version should be deployed to the general public next year, before March 6.

3 – Paid version on Facebook and Instagram

If you are addicted to Facebook and Instagram, but you do not like watching advertisements, you have the option of paying a subscription to no longer see them, provided you reside in the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland. In fact, Meta launched this subscription to comply with “the evolution of European regulations.”

But Meta has been clear that its business model continues to rely on free, ad-supported services. “[…] Like other companies, we will continue to advocate for an ad-supported Internet, even with our new subscription offering in the Internet. EU, EEA and Switzerland. But we respect the spirit and purpose of these evolving European regulations, and we are committed to respecting them”, Meta said in its announcement.

4 – Choice of search engine on Android

For its part, Google had to make a big change to its Android operating system, for European users, several years ago. Following a decision by the European Commission, in 2018, Google had to implement a feature called “choice screen” on its operating system.
When activating a new Android smartphone, European users see this screen which allows them to choose a default search engine (other than Google).

And currently, Google is working on its compliance with the DMA, which means that other changes could be announced for Android and its various products and services. This list is far from exhaustive, as the tech giants designated by the European Commission still have until March 2024 to comply with the DMA.

  • The European Union imposes new rules on tech giants and certain changes will only be applied by the platforms for European users
  • In Europe, TikTok allows you to deactivate its recommendation algorithm
  • Windows will allow, in the European Economic Area, to uninstall Bing and Edge
  • As for Meta, it offers an ad-free subscription for Facebook and Instagram
  • And Google allows you already, for years, choosing another search engine when activating an Android smartphone

156.0 M reviews

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116