Meta to charge users for ‘ad free experience’

Oct 31, 2023 | Political News

On Monday, Meta announced that it will be rolling out a new ad-free subscription service for European users in accordance with recently passed EU legislation regarding the collection of data online.

Paying will not only rid the social media sites of their many ads, it will also prevent them from gathering and sharing data. Users who do not wish to shell out extra cash for the already free service can expect no change in their experience.

According to Meta, beginning in November users 18 years of age and older in the EU, European Economic Area, and Switzerland will have the option to pay €9.99/month for desktop, and €12.99/month for iOS or Android devices.

While the price will originally be fixed and include all accounts linked to a particular user, beginning on March 1, 2024 there will be a fee of €6/month for each additional account on desktop, and €8/month on mobile.

“We believe in an ad-supported internet, which gives people access to personalised products and services regardless of their economic status,” Meta wrote in a press release. “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.”

The social media giant explained that the plan to offer an ad-free service will ensure that people in Europe are treated in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation's legal basis of “consent,” noting that the EU Court of Justice “expressly recognised that a subscription model, like the one we are announcing, is a valid form of consent for an ads funded service.”

Earlier this year, the EU's main privacy watchdog fined Meta €390 million over the company's use of data to curate personalized advertisements. Since then, the company has been scrambling to avoid future financial penalties in a rapidly changing legal environment.