Meta’s paid plans for Facebook and Instagram have officially launched following last month’s report that it was on its way.
From today, users in the European Economic Area (EEA), European Union (EU), and Switzerland will be able to pay €9.99 — roughly $10.53 — for an ad-free experience on both of the social media platforms.
While people are subscribed, their information won’t be used to serve personalized ads. However, a free, ad-supported service will resume as normal.
How the Paid Plan Works
For those in the EU interested in opting out of targeted ads, here are all the need-to-know details.
At the moment, subscriptions will be for users over the age of 18 only. However, Meta is looking into how it can serve ads to people under the age of 18 without breaking any EU rules.
The monthly cost will work out at €9.99 for a web-version or €12.99 if being used on iOS and Android. That extra €3.00 will account for the additional app store fees.
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Users will be given the choice to continue with personalized services — being served ads based on their preferences and habits — or asked whether they’d like to subscribe to stop seeing ads. As long as they’re subscribed, any data or information gathered will not be used by the platform for advertising purposes.
The official statement from Meta also announced that while this subscription currently covers all linked accounts in a user’s Accounts Center, they will be subject to an additional fee of €6.00 and €8.00 a month for the web and iOS respectively, starting in March 2024.
The Statement from Meta
Meta has stated that the introduction of a paid subscription is actually to ensure it complies with evolving European regulations, rather than specifically to make money. Back in January, it was fined €390 million by the Irish Data Protection Commission for breaking EU data rules and “forcing” users to accept targeted ads.
At the time, Meta was adamant it wasn’t “forcing consent” by saying users could either accept how their data was used or leave the platforms. However, based on the swift creation and implementation of a subscription, it’s since confirmed that it made a change to “address a number of evolving and emerging regulatory requirements in the region.”
According to the statement, Meta “believes in an ad-supported internet, which gives people access to personalized products and services regardless of their economic status. It also allows small businesses to reach potential customers, grow their business and create new markets, driving growth in the European economy.”
“The option for people to purchase a subscription for no ads balances the requirements of European regulators while giving users choice and allowing Meta to continue serving all people in the EU, EEA and Switzerland.” – Meta statement
Will Other Social Platforms Follow Suit?
This latest paid-for service comes hot off the heels of Elon Musk’s ad-free Premium+ plan for X/Twitter, costing users up to $168 a year for a blue checkmark and the ability to edit posts, among other benefits.
TikTok has similarly followed suit, toying with the idea of a $4.99 monthly subscription model to remove ads. However, this is very much still in the testing phase with no word on if or when it’s to be rolled out.
While this latest turn from Meta centers around EU regulations, US users should expect to see similar plans creep in if the subscription model is proven to be a success. For now, though, continue to watch this space — alongside your in-app adverts.