Meta to Launch Ad-Free Facebook, Instagram Tier in Europe
Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, announced Monday that starting in November, users older than 18 can pay a monthly subscription fee for its platforms and no longer see ads. It will cost €9.99 (or about $10.50) per month for desktops and €12.99 (about $13.70) for iOS and Android....
Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, announced Monday that starting in November, users older than 18 can pay a monthly subscription fee for its platforms and no longer see ads. It will cost €9.99 (or about $10.50) per month for desktops and €12.99 (about $13.70) for iOS and Android.1
The move, which will apply to Meta's two major social media platforms in the EU, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland, will then add an additional charge of €6 per month per desktop account and €8 per month per phone account listed under a user's Account Center.2
Alongside the subscription rollout for adults, Meta will also stop showing ads to minors throughout the region starting Nov. 6 — a suspension the company says will continue until it concludes its assessment of the bloc's new data privacy laws.3
The subscription model is to comply with the EU's new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which concluded that the company must obtain consent to track users' activity for ad targeting. Earlier this month, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) allowed the possibility for Meta to charge an 'appropriate fee' 'if necessary.'2
In response, the EU's Data Protection Commission (DPC) in Ireland said its review of the new policy 'has not yet concluded,' adding that 'It is due to be completed shortly, at which point the DPC will notify Meta if [the monthly subscription] is compatible with Meta’s obligations under GDPR.'4
This comes as both TikTok and X, formerly known as Twitter, have implemented and experimented with ad-free subscriptions. Elon Musk's X charges £16 (about $19.40) per month, while TikTok has been trialing a monthly subscription of $4.99.5
Narrative A, as provided by Entrepreneur. While many users may be happy to avoid what they see as pesky advertisements in their social media feeds, the growing number of ad-free platforms will be a detriment to companies trying to reach potential customers. There are also ethical concerns over all these platforms — from Meta and YouTube to X and Snapchat — charging those with less financial means to use their services. Ad-based social media gave everyone free access to the internet, something that could be lost if this trend grows.
Narrative B, as provided by Forbes. As non-human bot accounts take over the digital dialogue and targeted advertising becomes more and more intrusive, subscription-based social media can certainly become the new norm. However, in order for users to feel they're paying a fair price, these tech giants are going to have to provide more bang for their buck. The digital world is at a historical impasse, which is why Silicon Valley, either by legal force in the EU or by choice in the case of Elon Musk, must prove itself willing to protect our data while building platforms worth a subscription.