- Meta is addressing European privacy regulations by offering ad-free subscriptions for Facebook and Instagram in Europe, providing users with a choice to enjoy the platforms without ads for a monthly fee.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is set to launch an ad-free subscription service for users in Europe, following regulatory pressure and legal challenges.
Starting in November, European users can opt for a monthly subscription, priced at €9.99 for web users and €12.99 for mobile access. This service will allow users to enjoy Facebook and Instagram without the interruption of ads.
“In November, we will be offering people who use Facebook or Instagram and reside in these regions the choice to continue using these personalized services for free with ads, or subscribe to stop seeing ads. While people are subscribed, their information will not be used for ads,” the company wrote.
The move comes in response to evolving European regulations and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which require users to provide clear consent for their data to be used in personalized ads.
By offering an ad-free subscription plan, Meta aims to strike a balance between adhering to European regulations and providing users with a choice. This approach aligns with a European Court of Justice ruling that recognized subscription models as a valid form of consent for ad-funded services. .
The subscription plans will encompass all linked accounts under one user until March 2024. After this date, an additional fee will apply for each connected account. The service is exclusively available to users aged 18 or older.
While this change offers users an ad-free experience, advertisers on Facebook and Instagram will still have the opportunity to display personalized ads. For subscription-free users, they retain some influence over the ads they see and the data used to inform those ads.
Meta’s decision reflects its commitment to offering a privacy-conscious experience to its users and responding to the changing landscape of data protection and ad regulations in Europe. In January, Meta was fined €390 million by Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner for violating Europe’s privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
With an estimated 258 million monthly users in the European Union, this subscription offering is expected to resonate with a diverse European audience, providing them with a way to enjoy social media free from advertisements while respecting the regulatory landscape.