Meta plans to charge European users about $17 per month for ad-free subscription to Instagram and Facebook

Europeans could soon find themselves facing a monthly bill of $14 to access Facebook and Instagram unless they agree to see personalized ads, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported. Additionally, Meta is considering introducing a monthly charge of $17 for those who prefer an ad-free experience on Facebook and Instagram when using a desktop computer.

According to a report from the Journal, Meta is planning to charge Instagram and Facebook to users in the European Union (EU) as part of its response to mounting regulatory pressure from the EU. As part of the plan, Meta is considering the possibility of offering a paid, ad-free version of Instagram and Facebook to EU users. This strategic move comes as the EU has been intensifying its scrutiny of Meta’s data collection and advertising methodologies.

The proposed ad-free subscription plan is said to come with a price tag of €13 per month for mobile devices and €10 per month for desktop usage, and about  $17 a month for Instagram plus Facebook on desktop

While the exact launch date of this ad-free subscription service in the EU remains uncertain, reports suggest that Meta is actively testing it internally and has already extended the offer to a select group of users in Germany.

This initiative is Meta’s way of aligning with EU regulations and granting users greater authority over their personal data and privacy. Simultaneously, it serves as a revenue-generating endeavor for Meta, which has been grappling with heightened competition from emerging social media platforms like TikTok and Snapchat.

However, not everyone views this ad-free subscription offering favorably. Critics argue that it could be a tactical maneuver by Meta to persist in collecting and leveraging user data. In their eyes, the company might merely be providing users with an option to pay for respite from ads rather than granting them the choice to completely opt out of data collection.

The success and reception of the ad-free subscription service among EU users remain to be seen. Nevertheless, it’s evident that Meta is under mounting pressure, both from regulators and the public, to reevaluate its data collection and advertising methodologies. The outcome of this endeavor will likely have far-reaching implications for the future of digital privacy and online advertising within the EU.

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