Meta has announced a new subscription-based model for Facebook and Instagram users in Europe, allowing them to opt out of targeted ads. This move comes after increased European regulations aimed at curbing the use of personalized ads by US tech companies. However, the company continues to advocate for a free, ad-supported internet.
Facebook and Instagram users in Europe are now given a choice to opt out of targeted ads, provided they are willing to pay for a monthly subscription. The parent company, Meta (META), unveiled this new plan on Monday, extending it to European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland users.
As part of this new offering, users can access the platforms without ads for a monthly fee of €9.99 ($10.60) on the web or €12.99 ($13.78) on iOS and Android. Starting in March, an additional monthly fee of €6 ($6.37) on the web and €8 ($8.48) on iOS and Android will be applied for each different account listed in a user’s Account Center.
Compliance with European Regulations
“We believe in a free, ad-supported internet — and will continue to offer people free access to our personalized products and services regardless of income,”
It is said Meta in a blog post. This new subscription model is part of Meta’s effort to comply with multiple European regulations targeting US tech companies’ use of personalized ads.
Over the past year, the European Union has tightened its rules and will soon require Big Tech companies to ask users for their consent regarding such advertising. In July, a court ruling allowed tech companies to use subscription models to obtain such permission.
Still Free to Use
Despite the new subscription model, users will still have the option to use Facebook and Instagram for free, although they will continue to see ads. The subscription-based ad-free experience is currently only extended to users in Europe.
Meta’s Argument and the GDPR
Under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), companies are permitted to collect and use the personal data of EU citizens, provided the usage falls under specific categories. Meta has previously argued that its data collection for advertising is necessary to fulfill the “contracts” between the platform and end-users to provide its service. However, privacy advocates and regulators have stated that this justification does not support using personal data for advertising.
Meta has emphasized its commitment to respecting the spirit and purpose of these evolving European regulations and is dedicated to complying with them.