There’s an old saying: “If you don’t pay for the product, then you are the product.” Facebook parent company Meta also seems to have thought so. And now offers users in Europe more control over their data and no targeted ads on Facebook and Instagram for a monthly fee.
Facebook and Instagram users in the EU, EEA and Switzerland can now pay €9.99 per month for the website. Or €12.99 per month for iOS and Android. In return you get an ad-free account on the two social media platforms. These monthly fees cover all linked Facebook and Instagram accounts of a single user until March 1, 2024. After that, going without advertising on each additional linked account costs an additional €6/month on the web and €8/month on iOS and Android. The previous model with advertising also remains available to users on both platforms.
“The option for people to purchase a subscription for no ads balances the requirements of European regulators while giving users a choice and allowing Meta to continue serving all people in the EU, EEA and Switzerland. In its ruling, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) expressly recognized that a subscription model, like the one we are announcing, is a valid form of consent for an ads-funded service.”
Meta’s press release discusses compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Digital Markets Act (DMA) in relation to user data. The DMA came into force back in May and considers Facebook a gatekeeper. A gatekeeper, in this case, is a large digital platform that provides core services in the social network category.
Meta must implement the obligations and prohibitions of the regulation by March 6, 2024. The DMA’s prohibited list includes, among other things, a ban on combining data collected by two different services from the same company. It also prohibits the tracking of users outside of the platform’s core service.