Facebook, Instagram to Offer Paid Subscription for No Ads in Europe

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Meta has announced a new subscription model for Facebook and Instagram users in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland.

Starting in November, residents in these regions will have the option to use the platforms either for free with ads or subscribe to an ad-free experience. The subscription will cost €9.99/month on the web and €12.99/month on iOS and Android platforms.

The move comes as Meta aims to comply with evolving European regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

“We believe in an ad-supported internet, which gives people access to personalized products and services regardless of their economic status,” said Meta in a press release on Monday. The new subscription model is designed to balance regulatory requirements while offering users a choice in how they interact with Meta’s platforms.

While subscribed, users’ information will not be used for advertising purposes. The subscription will cover all linked Facebook and Instagram accounts in a user’s Accounts Center until March 1, 2024. After that date, an additional fee will apply for each extra account.

Meta clarified that advertisers could still run personalized ad campaigns for users who opt for the free, ad-supported service. The company also emphasized its commitment to user privacy and security, stating that whether users choose the free or subscription-based model, their information will remain private and secure under Meta’s policies and GDPR.

The subscription model is part of Meta’s broader strategy to adapt to regulatory changes in Europe. It follows a recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and anticipates the entry into force of the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

“The option for people to purchase a subscription for no ads balances the requirements of European regulators,” Meta noted.

The ad-free subscription will be available to users aged 18 and up, and the company is exploring options for providing teens with a responsible ad experience. The new model has been incorporated into Meta’s most recently announced business outlook and guidance.

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