Meta to Offer Paid Versions of Facebook and Instagram in Europe to Avoid Ads: Report

Meta Platforms is considering paid versions of Facebook and Instagram with no advertisements for users residing in the European Union (EU) as a response to scrutiny from regulators, the New York Times reported on Friday.

Those who pay for the subscriptions would not see ads while Meta would also continue to offer free versions of the apps with ads in the EU, the report said, citing three people with knowledge of the plans.

The report added that the possible move may help Meta combat privacy concerns and other scrutiny from the EU as it would give users an alternative to the company’s ad-based services, which rely on analyzing people’s data.

Meta did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The social media behemoth has been in the crosshairs of EU antitrust regulators and lost a fight in July against a 2019 German order that barred it from collecting users’ data without consent.

It is unclear how much the paid versions of the app would cost, the NYT report said.

The social media giant has been in the spotlight of EU antitrust regulators and has been fined NOK 1 million (roughly Rs. 77,51,000) per day since August 14 for breaching users’ privacy by harvesting user data and using it to target advertising at them. The company is seeking a temporary injunction against the order by Norway’s data protection authority, which imposes a daily fine for the next three months. The regulator, Datatilsynet, had said on July 17 that the company would be fined if it did not address privacy breaches the regulator had identified.

© Thomson Reuters 2023 


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