There’s an old saying “if you’re not paying for the product, then you’re the product” and Meta is now offering users in Europe more control over their data with no ad targeting on Facebook and Instagram in exchange for a monthly fee.
Facebook and Instagram users in the EU, EEA and Switzerland can now pay €9.99 per month for web and €12.99 / month on iOS and Android granting them an ad-free experience across the social media platforms. These monthly fees will cover all linked Facebook and Instagram accounts owned by a single user until March 1, 2024. After that, the ad-free experience on each additional linked account will cost an extra €6 / month on the web and €8 / month on iOS and Android. The ad-supported experience will still be available for users on both platforms.
The option for people to purchase a subscription for no ads balances the requirements of European regulators while giving users a choice and allowing Meta to continue serving all people in the EU, EEA and Switzerland. In its ruling, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) expressly recognized that a subscription model, like the one we are announcing, is a valid form of consent for an ads-funded service.
Meta’s press release talks about its commitment to keeping its users’ info secure and in line with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Digital Markets Act (DMA). The DMA became applicable back in May and deems Facebook as a gatekeeper i.e. a large digital platform providing core services in the social networks category forcing Meta to comply with the regulation’s obligations and prohibitions by March 6, 2024. The DMA’s list of bans includes a prohibition on combining data collected from two different services belonging to the same company and tracking users outside of their platform’s core service.