In a move to address privacy concerns and comply with European data laws, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has announced the introduction of paid subscriptions for users in Europe and Switzerland. Starting from November 1, users in this region will have the option to pay for a subscription to enjoy an ad-free experience on these social media platforms.
The subscription pricing varies, with €9.99 per month for web users and €12.99 per month for iOS and Android users, reflecting the fees imposed by Apple and Google. This decision by Meta allows users to choose between paying for an ad-free experience or continuing to use the platforms for free while consenting to data collection practices.
The subscription covers all linked accounts in a user’s Accounts Center until March 1, 2024. After this date, an additional fee of €6/month on the web and €8/month on iOS and Android will be applied for each additional account.
Importantly, free access to these platforms will still be available with ads. Users who opt for the free service can expect their user experience to remain unchanged. Advertisers will continue to run personalized advertising campaigns in Europe to reach those who choose the free service.
Meta emphasized its commitment to a free, ad-supported internet and stated that free access to its products and services will persist. The company believes this approach benefits small businesses by allowing them to reach potential customers and drive growth in the European economy.
“We believe in a free, ad-supported internet and will continue to offer people free access to our personalized products and services regardless of income. It also allows small businesses to reach potential customers, grow their business, and create new markets, driving growth in the European economy,” said Meta in the statement.
Despite the introduction of paid subscriptions, Meta remains dedicated to advocating for an ad-supported business model. They plan to invest in new tools to preserve the value of personalized advertising for users and businesses while giving users more control over their ad experience on their platforms.