May 19, 2024

Meta Launches Ad-Free Facebook & Instagram Subscription in EU

Facebook and Instagram users in most of Europe will now be able to enjoy an ad-free experience by purchasing a €9.99 ($10.50) subscription for the Meta platforms.

However, the paid subscription tier has not been launched in the UK, which means UK users will have to continue dealing with advertisements.

Meta was previously slapped with a €390m fine in January for the violation of EU data rules regarding advertising. At the time, the EU’s main data privacy watchdog, the Irish Data Protection Commission, told Meta that it couldn’t “force consent” on its users by asking them to leave the platforms if they refused to accept how their data would be used.

The tech giant claims that its new subscription tier is meant to address the very concerns expressed by the EU rather than generating revenue.

Free Facebook and Instagram Access to Remain an Option

According to a blog published by Meta to announce the launch of the paid subscription, it will be available exclusively to people in the EU, EFA, and Switzerland. Users from the said regions can choose to enjoy an ad-free experience by paying €9.99 per month.

However, those unwilling to get a paid subscription can continue to use the services for free while seeing relevant ads on the platforms.

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.Meta blog post

The tech giant went on to add that it was committed to preserving the privacy and security of its users’ data under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its own policies. This applies to both paying and non-paying users, the company assured.

Users May Potentially Have to Pay Additional Charges

While the subscription costs €9.99 per month, those buying it on Android and iOS will have to shell out €12.99/month instead. The additional $3 accounts for the fees charged by Apple and Google for in-app purchases on their respective platforms.

Users can, however, avoid the fees by simply purchasing the subscription on the web instead.

The initial subscription will cover all the linked Facebook and Instagram accounts until March 1, 2024.

Users need not purchase separate subscriptions for Facebook and Instagram – the same subscription covers both platforms as long as the accounts are linked.

After this, Meta will be charging an additional fee of €6/month on the web and €8/month on both Android and iOS for each extra account listed in a user’s account center. This means those with a personal account as well as a business account would be subject to the fee.

The announcement of the premium subscription tier by Meta comes shortly after X, previously known as Twitter, introduced an ad-free Premium+ service on October 27, 2023.

While the Premium+ X subscription costs £16 per month, users can also opt for a cheaper ad-supported subscription tier that allows them to edit posts. The standard premium tier, which primarily grants the blue verification tick along with other premium perks, will continue to be available, too.

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