Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has announced the launch of subscription-based services in a move to offer users an ad-free experience across the platforms. This premium tier will come at a cost of €9.99 per month, excluding the UK. The subscription is an effort to comply with evolving EU regulations on data and ads.
Earlier this year, Meta faced a hefty fine of €390 million for violating EU data rules related to advertising. The fine was imposed due to issues surrounding user consent and data usage, emphasizing that individuals shouldn’t be coerced into granting consent or exit the platforms.
The ad-free tier will be available exclusively to users in the European Union, European Economic Area, and Switzerland starting November, with the requirement of being at least 18 years old to access the service. Meta is exploring how to comply with the ad-serving regulations for younger users in these regions.
Meta emphasized that this new subscription model is more about addressing EU regulatory concerns than being a revenue-generating scheme. The company declared its support for an ad-supported internet while offering users the choice to pay for an ad-free experience without data collection, balancing the regulatory requirements with user preferences.
Users will have the option to either continue using the platforms for free and have their data collected for targeted ads or opt for an ad-free experience by subscribing to the service. However, a small additional charge of €3 per month will apply for subscriptions made through iOS or Android due to platform fees, which can be avoided by signing up via the desktop website.
From March 2024, additional accounts on Facebook and Instagram, such as personal and business accounts, will incur an extra charge, aiming to maintain the ad-free experience across multiple accounts.
This subscription service introduction follows Elon Musk’s X (previously Twitter), introducing an ad-free Premium+ service and a budget-friendly tier. Similarly, TikTok is testing a monthly ad-free subscription but hasn’t confirmed a global rollout yet. These endeavors across social platforms signify a shift toward offering ad-free experiences at a cost.