Meta unveils ad-free Facebook and Instagram subscriptions in Europe
Meta is rolling out no ads subscriptions for Facebook and Instagram users in Europe.
People in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will be given the choice to either continue using these platforms with personalised ads, or pay a fee to remove sponsored posts completely from November.
Users that opt to pay for a subscription, which will cost €9.99 per month on the web or €12.99 per month on iOS and Android, will not have their information used for ads.
Why we care. The success of ad-free subscriptions could greatly influence reach and, consequently, ROI for this new service in Europe. Nonetheless, the expense of these paid services, coupled with the planned additional fees for next year, may act as a deterrent for potential sign-ups.
Subscription costs. An ad-free experience will be applied to all linked Facebook and Instagram accounts in a user’s Accounts Center, meaning users will only need to pay for one subscription to cover all of their accounts. However, that is set to change next year.
From March 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.
Why now? Providing a choice to subscribe without ads meets European regulations and lets Meta serve users in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland. The CJEU confirmed that such a subscription model is a valid way for users to consent to an ad-supported service.
Who is eligible? To begin with, Meta is only rolling out ad-free experiences for people aged 18 and up. However, the tech giant is continuing to explore new ways to offer teens a “useful and responsible ad experience” in light of the EU’s evolving regulatory landscape.
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What Meta is saying. A spokesperson for Meta said in a statement:
- "Advertisers will be able to continue running personalised advertising campaigns in Europe to reach those who choose to continue to receive a free, ad-supported online service."
- "Going forward, we will continue to invest to build new tools that preserve the value that both people and businesses get out of personalised advertising, while allowing users to control their ads experience on our platforms."
- "We believe in an ad-supported internet, which gives people access to personalised 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."
- "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."
Deep dive. Read Meta's announcement in full for more information.