It seems like every streaming service these days allows users to pay for an ad-free version, and now the leading social media company is adding the tactic to its business model.
Meta announced Monday it would begin offering users in Europe advertisement-free subscription options for Facebook and Instagram starting in November.
The apps' parent company said the change — which will only be available to users in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland — was to comply with "evolving European regulations" regarding privacy rules.
Once the plan is activated, users in those areas can either continue using the apps for free with ads, or they can subscribe to get rid of them and stop their information from being used in ads.
The cost of the subscriptions will range depending on where they're purchased, Meta said. For the web, it'll be 9.99 euros a month, and on iOS and Android, it'll be 12.99 euros per month.
Until March 1, 2024, this subscription price will include all linked accounts in a user's Accounts Center, Meta said. But after that date, it will be an additional 6 euros per month on the web and 8 euros per month on iOS and Android for each additional account linked.
By allowing users the option to now consent to the company using their data for marketing or having them pay not to, Meta may be able to comply with the regulations while continuing its main revenue source of selling companies personalized ad space for its users who don't want to spend money to stop ads.
Meta — like some other tech companies — has been under fire for how it handles users' data privacy recently.
In May, the Data Protection Commission of Ireland slammed the company with a record $1.3 billion fine for violating EU data protection laws when it transferred personal data from the EU to the U.S.
And in July, the EU's highest court upheld a ruling by German antitrust regulators that said Meta abused its power, thereby clearing the way for the app to be barred from collecting its users' data unless they explicitly approve it.
In its announcement Monday, Meta said it's "committed to complying" with the European regulations, but it defended the use of ad-supported internet "which gives people access to personalized products and services regardless of their economic status."
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