Towards the end of last month, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced that it would be offering an ad-free subscription option for Facebook and Instagram users in Europe to comply with the new European Union (EU) privacy regulations and give users the choice between targeted ads and an ad-free experience.
“We believe 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 company said in its announcement last month.
“And like other companies, we’ll continue to advocate for an ad-supported internet, even with our new subscription offering in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland. But we respect the spirit and purpose of these evolving European regulations, and are committed to complying with them.”
Now, the California-based tech giant has launched its first ad-free option for Facebook and Instagram users in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland for €9.99 per month on the web or €12.99 per month on iOS and Android. These fees will cover all linked Facebook and Instagram accounts until March 1, 2024, in a user’s Accounts Center.
However, beginning March 1, 2024, an additional fee of €6 per month on the web and €8 per month on iOS and Android will apply for each additional account listed in a user’s Account Center.
Users in these regions now have the choice to continue using personalized services for free with ads or subscribe to stop seeing ads. While people are subscribed, their information will not be used for ads. Those who have selected the free option allow Meta to carry out targeted advertising by tracking their information.
It’s important to note that the ad-free service of Facebook and Instagram is only available to users over 18, who can either subscribe to the ad-free version by paying €9.99 monthly or continue using the platforms for free. Those users younger than 18 will be able to use the ad-free option without charge.
If the ad-free option is available in your region, you will notice a prompt the next time you log in to Facebook or Instagram with a sign-up option to these platforms, notifying you that Meta is introducing this new choice because “laws are changing in your region.”
Meta confirms that although data won’t be used for targeted advertising, first-party data about the users will still be used for purposes not associated with advertising.
“We don’t use any data for ad purposes at all. That turns off first-party data as well as stopping any third parties, like Nike, sending us information about you,” says Alex Dziedzan, a policy communication spokesperson at Meta.
“This is part of our process for getting consent under the GDPR. It’s a requirement for us to make sure that everyone sees the choice that they can make.”