Meta Eyes Ad-Free Subscription Plans for Facebook and Instagram amid EU Regulation Threats

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Meta Platforms has set its sights on implementing ad-free subscription plans for Instagram and Facebook users across Europe. This initiative, coming in light of European Union regulations threatening Meta’s ad personalization capacity, reveals an attempt to diversify revenue streams without user consent, thereby disrupting Meta’s principal source of income.

Proposed pricing plans are under active discussion, with the 10-euro-per-month plan seeming the most likely. As sources reveal, these changes would emerge in the following months, maintaining Meta’s dynamic pace in the digital landscape.

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This approach presents users with a choice: opt for a free, ad-dense experience or a paid, ad-free subscription. The potential benefit here for Meta lies in its ability to navigate EU regulations without affecting its lucrative ad business fundamentally.

However, how does this proposed pricing compare with other existing online platforms? A glimpse at Netflix’s streaming subscription shows a charge of 7.99 euros for a basic plan. Meanwhile, Alphabet’s YouTube Premium and Spotify’s Premium services cost approximately 12 and 11 euros, respectively.

The landscape changes slightly when focusing on mobile devices, where a single account price could surge to 13 euros. This increase takes into account the commissions Meta has to consider due to fees imposed by Apple’s and Google’s application stores.

Notably, Meta faced a hefty fine of 390 million euros earlier this year from Ireland’s Data Privacy Commissioner. The heart of this dispute was Meta’s use of the “contract” legal basis to disseminate ads to users rooted in their online activity—an approach no longer permitted.

In response, Meta conveyed its intent to secure EU user consent before allowing businesses to target them with ads. This step was a direct effort to meet the evolving regulatory expectations within the region.

An official from Meta echoed this sentiment, stating their belief in “free services which are supported by personalized ads.” However, they admitted that the company is considering “options to ensure we comply with evolving regulatory requirements.”

On the other side, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission stayed silent on the matter, while the European Commission did not comment upon request.