Facebook and Instagram introduce paid subscription

The logos of Facebook and Instagram and the words "Monthly subscription" are seen in this picture illustration taken January 19, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Meta is introducing a paid subscription service aimed at eliminating ads from Facebook and Instagram within the European Union. This service, priced at approximately €9.99 per month on the web and €12.99 per month on iOS and Android due to additional platform-related costs, aims to address the European Union’s concerns about Meta’s advertising targeting and data collection practices.

The subscription model requires users to make a choice: either pay for an ad-free experience or utilize the free service, accepting Meta’s data collection practices. By implementing this approach, Meta believes it will meet the privacy requirements outlined in various European data laws, including the Digital Markets Act and GDPR.

While free access supported by ads will still be an option, Meta emphasized that they respect and aim to comply with the evolving European regulations. They will continue to offer free access with no changes for non-paying users and retain their existing ad preference tools.

The ad-free subscription will be accessible to individuals aged 18 and above in the EU, EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway), and Switzerland, initially across all connected Facebook and Instagram accounts. However, Meta plans to introduce an additional charge for linked accounts starting from March 1st, 2024. As long as a user remains subscribed, their data will not be used for ad targeting.

Meta’s announcement underlines its commitment to its ad-supported business model, stressing the new subscription is meant to meet European regulations. Although the company believes in an ad-supported internet, the subscription addresses a long-standing demand from users seeking respite from targeted ads across Meta’s platforms. The move underscores Meta’s prioritization of user data privacy, particularly in regions with stringent data protection laws. Nonetheless, the subscription remains optional, allowing users the choice between paying for an ad-free experience or continuing with the ad-supported free service.

This subscription marks a shift in the company’s approach and will offer users an opportunity to escape the constant stream of ads that have become synonymous with Facebook and Instagram.



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