Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced on Monday that users in Europe now have the choice to purchase ad-free versions of the social media platforms in order to adhere to the stringent data privacy regulations in the region.
Beginning in November, individuals using desktop browsers will have the option to pay approximately 10 euros per month, while those using iOS or Android will pay around 13 euros. According to a blog post by the company, the increased prices are due to the commissions imposed by the Apple and Google app stores on in-app payments.
Starting in March, Meta will begin charging an additional fee of 6 euros for each linked Facebook and Instagram account. However, until then, the fee will cover all linked accounts. The Wall Street Journal first reported on this plan earlier this month.
The American technology company is implementing a subscription choice following the decision of the highest court in the European Union that under stringent EU data privacy regulations, Meta must obtain explicit consent before displaying ads to users. This ruling puts the company’s ability to generate revenue through personalized advertisements, catered to users’ online interests and digital behavior, at risk.
The company stated that it supports the concept of an internet that is funded by advertisements, but also acknowledges and values the intent behind the changing regulations in Europe. It is dedicated to following and adhering to these regulations.
According to Meta, the paid option offers a compromise between meeting European regulatory standards and providing users with choice, while also allowing Meta to continue serving all individuals.
Individuals who are 18 years old or above and residing in any of the 27 member states of the European Union, as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, will still have the option to use Facebook or Instagram with advertisements.
Meta stated that it is currently investigating ways to offer teenagers a beneficial and accountable advertising experience, in light of the European privacy ruling.