Facebook and Instagram have been integral parts of people’s lives for quite some time now. Facebook pioneered the concept of social media, getting people accustomed to sharing their lives with the public. These platforms have remained free for users, relying on personalized ads as their primary revenue source. But what if you could pay to remove these ads on Instagram and Facebook? According to a report, Meta is considering this idea.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has proposed a monthly subscription plan for users in Europe that would provide an ad-free experience. Alternatively, users can continue using the apps for free if they agree to receive personalized ads.
Meta is suggesting a monthly fee of approximately €10 (~$10.5) for using a Facebook or Instagram account on a desktop and about €6 (~$6.3) for each additional linked account. On mobile devices, the starting price would rise to €13 (~$13.6) to account for the commissions charged by Apple and Google’s mobile app stores on iOS and Android, respectively.
These plans are referred to as “SNA” (Subscription No Ads) and have been shared with EU privacy regulators for their feedback. Depending on the response from regulatory authorities, Meta intends to launch these subscription options in the coming months for European users.
The choice will be left to users: either pay for an ad-free experience on Instagram and Facebook or continue using the platforms for free but have their activity tracked in order to receive personalized ads. For users who prefer not to pay and want to protect their data, deactivating their Facebook account or exploring alternative platforms may be the wiser choice.
Would you be willing to pay a monthly fee for an ad-free experience on Instagram or Facebook?
It’s unlikely that these subscription plans will be available in other regions, such as the United States. Meta’s proposal is specifically designed to comply with the privacy-focused requirements of EU regulators. European regulators have insisted that services and platforms must obtain user consent before collecting data for personalized ads and provide users with the option to opt out.
It’s not immediately clear whether these proposed plans fully meet all the regulatory demands. However, a preliminary analysis of the EU’s Digital Markets Act suggests that a user who opts out should still be allowed to use the service. Meta is banking on a recent EU court decision that stated social media companies “could charge a reasonable fee” to users who choose not to allow their data to be used for specific ad-targeting purposes.