Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has announced plans to offer users in Europe the option of a subscription plan that will allow them to use the social media platforms without advertisements. This move is in response to European Union regulations aimed at protecting user privacy and data rights.
Starting soon, monthly subscription plans will be made available to users in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland. Web users will be able to opt for a 9.99 euros ($10.58) per month plan, while iOS and Android users will have access to an ad-free experience for 12.99 euros per month.
The EU regulations pose challenges to Meta’s ability to personalize advertisements for users without their explicit consent, potentially impacting the company’s primary source of revenue.
Amid ongoing antitrust scrutiny in the EU, Meta lost a significant legal battle in July when the European Union’s top court upheld the power of the German antitrust watchdog to investigate privacy breaches. This further underscored the regulatory pressures faced by the tech giant, Reuters news report said.
To address these challenges, Meta’s new subscription plans provide users with a choice between a free, ad-supported experience and an ad-free paid subscription. By doing so, Meta aims to give users the flexibility to opt for their preferred experience while still adhering to EU regulations without compromising its ad-based business model.
Earlier this year, Meta was fined 390 million euros by Ireland’s Data Privacy Commissioner and was instructed not to use the “contract” as a legal basis to send users targeted ads based on their online activity. In response to evolving regulatory requirements in the region, the company has pledged to seek user consent in the EU before allowing businesses to target advertisements.
This strategic move by Meta reflects the company’s commitment to balancing user privacy rights with its business interests in a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape.