Oct 31, 2023 1 min read

Meta announces ad-free premium option in Europe to comply with data regulations

Meta is launching an ad-free premium option for Facebook and Instagram in Europe - but only to comply with data regulations in the European Union - the social media firm insists “we believe in an ad-supported internet”

Meta announces ad-free premium option in Europe to comply with data regulations

Meta is introducing a new ad-free premium option on Facebook and Instagram in Europe as part of efforts to comply with laws regulating the big digital platforms within the European Union - including both data protection regulations and the new Digital Markets Act.

Recent rulings in Europe have said that, under EU rules, major digital services cannot "force consent" by telling users that they must either accept how their data will be used or leave a platform. The EU courts also said that Meta should offer an option where users do not have to share their data, even if there was a cost associated with taking that option.

The new premium version of Meta will cost €9.99 a month - or €12.99 a month if people sign up on mobile because of the commissions charged by Apple and Google on in-app payments. It will be available in the EU, EEA and Switzerland - so not the UK.

Announcing the new premium option, Meta made it clear that it is still very much committed to its ad-funded business which is powered by user data, and that the new premium option in Europe was entirely designed to meet regulatory obligations.

"We believe in an ad-supported internet", it wrote in a blog post, "which gives people access to personalised products and services regardless of their economic status”.

“And like other companies”, it went on, “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".

Earlier this year Meta also announced a premium service for creators on its platforms, providing account verification and other added benefits for a monthly fee. However, that was seemingly about generating an additional revenue stream for the social media firm - similar to moves made by Elon Musk’s X - rather than complying with any regulations.

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