Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is set to introduce an ad-free subscription option for users in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland. This move is in response to the evolving data protection regulations in the region. Starting next month, users will have the choice to continue using Facebook and Instagram for free with ads or subscribe to a monthly plan that removes ads. The subscription fee will be €9.99/month on the web and €12.99/month on iOS and Android.
In an effort to comply with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and address privacy concerns, Meta plans to offer this ad-free subscription as an alternative for users who do not wish to see targeted ads based on their online activity. The company aims to provide users with more control over their personal information by ensuring that while subscribed, their data will not be used for advertising purposes.
To further monetize the subscription model, Meta has announced that from March 1, 2024, additional fees will be charged for each additional account listed in a user’s Account Center. This decision comes after Meta was fined €390 million earlier this year for breaching GDPR. The Irish Data Protection Commission found that users were forced to accept the terms of service and consent to targeted advertising in order to access Meta’s platforms.
In addition to the ad-free subscription, Meta will temporarily pause showing any ads to users under the age of 18 in areas where the subscription is available, starting November 6, 2023. This measure aims to protect younger users and ensure a safer online experience for them.