Meta Offers Ad-Free Facebook and Instagram Versions for European Users to Comply with Data Privacy Rules
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is introducing a subscription-based option for users in Europe, allowing them to access ad-free versions of the social media platforms. This initiative comes in response to the European Union’s strict data privacy rules, which mandate that users must give their consent before being shown ads.
Starting in November, European users on desktop browsers will have the choice to pay approximately 10 euros ($10.50) per month, while iOS and Android users will be charged approximately 13 euros per month. The higher cost for mobile users accounts for the commissions levied by Apple and Google’s app stores on in-app payments.
Meta’s subscription fee will encompass all linked Facebook and Instagram accounts until March 2024. After that date, the company will introduce a charge of 6 euros for each additional account.
This subscription model was developed following a ruling by the European Union’s top court, which requires Meta to obtain user consent before displaying ads. This ruling challenges Meta’s traditional method of generating revenue by delivering tailored advertisements based on users’ online interests and digital activities.
Meta believes in an “ad-supported internet” but also respects and adheres to evolving European regulations. The paid subscription option aims to strike a balance between meeting the requirements of European regulators and providing users with the freedom to choose, all while allowing Meta to continue serving users.
Users in the European Union and associated countries will retain the option to use Facebook and Instagram with ads. Meta is also exploring how to offer a responsible and beneficial ad experience to teenagers while complying with European privacy regulations.
This initiative reflects Meta’s commitment to adapting to the evolving landscape of data privacy and ensuring compliance with stringent European data protection rules. It also demonstrates the importance of giving users control over their ad experience and the opportunity to opt for ad-free versions of these popular social media platforms.