Meta to offer ad-free Facebook and Instagram in EU for a fee

Meta is planning to launch a subscription service that will allow users in the European Union to access its social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram, without seeing any ads. The move is a response to the new privacy regulations in the EU that require Meta to obtain users’ consent before showing them personalized ads based on their data.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Meta is considering charging users around EUR 10 (USD 10.50 or PHP 600) per month for ad-free access to Facebook or Instagram on desktop, and EUR 13 (USD 14 or PHP 770) per month for mobile devices. Users who want to use both apps on their smartphones would have to pay about EUR 19 (USD 20 or PHP 1,130) per month.

The subscription service, which is reportedly called SNA (Subscription No Ads), could launch as early as next month, as Meta has until the end of November to comply with the EU court ruling that limits its use of data for advertising purposes.

The EU court ruling, which was issued in July, stated that Meta cannot justify using personal details to target users with personalized ads, unless it receives their explicit consent first. The ruling also suggested that Meta could offer an alternative option of charging an “appropriate fee” to access an ad-free version of its platforms. Meta, which makes most of its revenue from advertising, has been facing increasing scrutiny and criticism from regulators and activists over its data practices and its impact on society.

Meta’s subscription plan is not the first of its kind, as other tech companies have also introduced paid options to remove ads from their services.

TechCrunch reported on Monday that TikTok is going to test an ad-free subscription service for USD 4.99 (PHP 280) a month in one market outside the US.

Other example include YouTube Premium, which allows users to watch videos without ads and access other features, for USD 11.99 per month (PHP 159 in the Philippines); and Spotify whose premium version that removes ads and enables offline listening for USD 9.99 per month (PHP 149 in the Philippines).

However, Meta’s plan is different in that it is driven by regulatory pressure, rather than consumer demand. It remains to be seen how many users in the EU would be willing to pay for ad-free access to Facebook and Instagram, or if the company will launch SNA to the global market.

Image credit: Unsplash

Bryan is a geek at heart and a tech enthusiast by choice. He has a strong background in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys watching clips on YouTube and binge watching shows on Netflix.

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